Authorities Are Reportedly sceptical That Tsarnaev's Widow Knew Nothing

Katherine Russell Tsarnaev

CNN reported Friday that explosive residue was found at the apartment that deceased Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his 24-year-old wife Katherine and their small child.

Tamerlan’s brother, Dzhokhar, reportedly told police he and his brother constructed the two bombs used in the marathon attack in that Cambridge, Mass. apartment.

Tamerlan, 26, died during a shootout with police days after the April 15 bombing, and Katherine denies knowing about the attack.

Federal authorities are sceptical of Katherine’s claims, especially since she stopped cooperating with the investigation, The New York Times reported.

Here’s what we know so far: 

  • The brothers’ plans had been in place for a while — CNN reports that Dzhokhar told investigators they were originally considering attacking Boston’s famous July 4 celebration, but changed their minds two days before the marathon because the bombs were ready sooner than expected.
  • It’s unclear where Katherine had been living with her and Tamerlan’s 3-year-old daughter, Zahara. She was at her parents’ home in North Kingstown, R.I. when federal investigators came to interview her after the bombing. A neighbour told The Huffington Post that Katherine lived there with her parents. Two neighbours said they had never met Tamerlan. People magazine cites Katherine’s lawyer as saying the couple moved in with Tamerlan’s parents and his brother after Zahara was born, while CNN reports that she shared an apartment with Tamerlan and Zahara.
  • Tamerlan called Katherine hours after the FBI released photos of him and Dzhokhar, USA Today reported. Tamerlan died not long after. The content of that conversation has not been disclosed. Katherine apparently told her lawyer that Tamerlan was “at home” on Thursday, the day the photos were released.
  • Investigators are trying to determine whether Katherine’s DNA or fingerprints are on any of the bomb fragments. But two sources told The New York Times that DNA and fingerprints found on what’s left of the bombs do not match Katherine.
  • Earlier this week, the FBI removed several bags from Katherine’s parents’ home, a spokesman confirmed to USA Today.
  • A friend of Katherine’s told the Daily Mail that Tamerlan “brainwashed” her. She converted to Islam after she met him. People magazine interviewed a family member who said Katherine became “very withdrawn” and stopped seeing her friends after marrying Tamerlan.

Authorities have previously said the brothers acted alone in the April 15 bombing, but they’re still trying to figure out who knew what and when. The attack killed three people and injured more than 200. The investigation is ongoing.

Three additional suspects — who were friends of Dzhokhar — were arrested this week in connection with the bombings. There is no evidence they helped plan the attack, but they might have taken items out of Dzhokar’s room after he was identified as a suspect.

Business Insider reached out to Katherine’s lawyer for comment on Friday but did not immediately get a response.

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