A scoop from Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard:
Law enforcement officials are carefully reexamining any possible role that Katherine Russell Tsarnaeva, the wife of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, played in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, according to three federal officials with knowledge of the investigation. The intense scrutiny comes as a result of information provided by Dzokhar Tsarnaev in his on-again, off-again interrogation by FBI officials before he was read his rights by a federal magistrate.
According to those officials, Dzokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators that the information that set in motion the series of events leading to Tamerlan’s death and Dzokhar’s apprehension came in a phone call from Katherine Russell Tsarnaeva to her husband. “She notified him and there certainly didn’t seem to be any notion of surprise – just a report that ‘you’re being watched,’” said one official with knowledge of the investigation. Tsarnaev had seen the photographs and videos distributed by the FBI on television and called her husband to give him a heads up.
The wife’s lawyer insists that she knew nothing. Per Hayes, it was the phone call, supposedly, that finally convinced Tamerlan it was time to get out of dodge, but I don’t understand that. Were they hiding out someplace where they didn’t have a TV or radio? The feds had been floating descriptions of the suspects’ clothing for more than 24 hours by the time the bombers decided to carjack someone and try to escape. According to friends, Dzhokhar was on campus at UMass-Dartmouth as late as Thursday morning. Neither one of them looked at a website or a television to see how much the feds knew? C’mon. It can’t be the phone call that triggered this.
The point about the wife possibly knowing is interesting, though. Anderson Cooper made a fair point last night too: How did this guy explain to his wife last year that he needed to go to Russia for six months when she was working 80 hours a week and had a baby to take care of on top of it? Could be that he was so domineering that she wouldn’t think to question him even under those circumstances — there are plenty of anecdotal reports from friends and acquaintances about that — but the “so, what’d you do in Dagestan?” conversation must have happened at some point. How’d he answer?
Hayes’s sources also confirm Megyn Kelly’s report this morning that the FBI was none too happy to have the magistrate show up in Tsarnaev’s hospital room to read him his rights when they weren’t done questioning him yet. Was that Holder’s call or someone else’s? And are we sure it was the Mirandization that got Tsarnaev to clam up rather than him finally being able to talk to a lawyer? Remember, a public defender was at the hearing on his behalf and told the magistrate that he’d already been able to speak to Tsarnaev, albeit “very briefly.” If anyone convinced him to stop talking, it was probably his attorney, not the Miranda warnings.
Update: So, what’d you do in Dagestan?
Investigators said the two Boston Marathon bombs were triggered by long-range remote controls for toy cars — a more sophisticated design than originally believed — bolstering a theory that the older suspect received bomb-making guidance on his six-month trip to Russia last year.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a shootout with police last week, “more than likely got some instruction in Dagestan,” a federal law enforcement official said Wednesday…
Further suggesting that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Russia trip played a role, Secretary of State John F. Kerry told reporters Wednesday in Brussels that the elder suspect “learned something where he went, and he came back with a willingness to kill people.”
They still don’t think he had any accomplices, but now that New York is in the picture, they want to know who he and Dzhokhar might have known there.