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Boston Marathon suspect moved; FBI searches landfill

Friday, April 26, 2013 | 5:52 PM    

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BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhohkar Tsarnaev was moved from a hospital to a federal prison medical centre, while FBI agents searched for evidence Friday in a landfill near the college he was attending.

Tsarnaev, 19, was taken from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, where he was recovering from a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries suffered during a getaway attempt, and transferred to the Federal Medical Centre Devens, about 40 miles from Boston, the US Marshals Service said.

The facility at a former Army base treats federal prisoners.

Meanwhile FBI agents picked through a landfill near the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev was a sophomore. FBI spokesman Jim Martin would not say what investigators were looking for.

An aerial photo in Friday's Boston Globe showed a line of more than 20 investigators, all dressed in white overalls and yellow boots, picking over the garbage with shovels or rakes.

US officials, meanwhile, said that the bombing suspects' mother had been added to a federal terrorism database about 18 months before the deadly attack — a disclosure that deepens the mystery around the Tsarnaev family and marks the first time American authorities have acknowledged that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was under investigation before the tragedy.

The news is certain to fuel questions about whether the Obama administration missed opportunities to thwart the April 15 bombing that killed three people and wounded more than 260.

Tsarnaev is charged with joining with his older brother, now dead, in setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs. The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the US about a decade ago with their parents. Investigators have said it appears that the brothers were angry about the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Two government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity said the CIA had Zubeidat Tsarnaeva's name added to the terror database along with that of her son Tamerlan Tsarnaev after Russia contacted the agency in 2011 with concerns that the two were religious militants.

About six months earlier, the FBI investigated mother and son, also at Russia's request, one of the officials said. The FBI found no ties to terrorism. Previously US officials had said only that the FBI investigated Tamerlan.

The suspects' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said that he would leave Russia soon for the US to visit one son and lay the other to rest.

A team of investigators from the US Embassy in Moscow has questioned both parents in Russia this week, spending many hours with the mother in particular over two days.

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