The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 1, 2013

Rothfus discusses arrests of 3 in Boston

JOHNSTOWN — U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, is not surprised the two main suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, may have had assistance in allegedly perpetrating or attempting to cover up the attacks.

On Wednesday, shortly after three more arrests were made in the case, he said, “I’m very concerned. Anybody who looks at what happened in Boston had to suspect there were more people involved.”

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev face charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Robel Phillipos is accused of making false statements to law enforcement. They allegedly removed a backpack containing fireworks tubes that had been emptied of their explosive powder and a laptop from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth dorm room on April 18, three days after the attacks. Then, realizing their friend was a suspect in the bombings, they collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash “because they did not want to get Tsarnaev into trouble,” according to an affidavit filed by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.

“I’m glad these people have been arrested,” Rothfus said.

Rothfus believes questions remain as to whether anybody else was involved.

“We have to investigate to see, indeed, who knew what and when and hold people accountable,” Rothfus said.

He added, “We have to be very vigilant with these individuals.”

The freshman congressman discussed the arrests after a luncheon, sponsored by the Rotary Club of

Johnstown, at Sunnehanna Country Club in Westmont.

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