MFA Works with U.S. on Status of Kazakh Students Who Knew Boston Bombers

ASTANA – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with the U.S. government to resolve the status of two students from Kazakhstan who were acquaintances of the two suspects in the Boston marathon terrorist bombings on April 15.

The government of Kazakhstan is cooperating with the United States in the investigation into the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, which killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

The government of Kazakhstan has reiterated its willingness to cooperate with the United States government on the issue. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Kazakhstan strongly condemns terrorism and terrorist acts in any form and expressed its sincere solidarity with the citizens of Boston.

The U.S. authorities have named two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as the main suspects in the attack. The two were ethnic Chechens who were raised in Kyrgyzstan but later moved to Dagestan in the Russian Federation until 2002 when they went to the United States where they later became U.S. citizens and also became radicalized, according to media reports. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 was killed while being apprehended and his younger brother Dzhokhar was arrested. In 2012, Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months in Russia.

On April 19, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested in Watertown, Massachusetts. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told a press conference, “We saw the suspect (on a video camera) after the brutal assassination of our officer. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled to a boat where he was wounded and captured after a brief exchange of fire.”

Following the attack, the terrorist threat level was increased in all major U.S. cities and security measures were stepped up. The American media reported that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claimed he and his brother carried out the attack in retaliation for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The media also reported on the friendship of Tsarnaevs with students from Kazakhstan who are living in the United States

Murat Kadyrbayev told the state broadcasting network in Kazakhstan that his son Dias Kadyrbayev and his friend Azamat Tazhayakov had been held by U.S. authorities as eyewitnesses on the attacks.

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov have not been charged with any crimes, but they were interrogated on their relationships with the Tsarnaevs and then released. However, then they were arrested for violation of U.S. immigration laws. Now, they are waiting for a tribunal to decide whether they can stay in the United States or be deported from the country.

Kadyrbayev expressed his condolences to all the victims of the Boston bombings and expressed his readiness to help the U.S. investigators.

“The only offense my son and his friend could have committed was violation of immigration law. The visa issued for study in the United States provides that foreign students who miss classes become violators of their student visa conditions,” he said.

Kadyrbayev acknowledged that “Dias and Azamat (Tazhayakov) have missed a couple of lessons.”

“I hope that the American police will sort out what is what, and will make the right decisions,” he said. “Most of the students who communicated with the Tsarnaevs are being checked out, not just my son. The (two Kazakhstan students) were mutual friends with the Tsarnaevs, they communicated with them and became friends. Eventually they were released, they were held as eyewitnesses.”

Kadyrbaev said that his son and his friend Tazhayakov had bought a BMW. He acknowledged that friends from Spain, as a joke, bought a registration plate for the car with the provocative inscription “terrorista #1.”

Now, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is providing aid to the two students. “I want to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for assistance in this matter and especially Yerlan Kubashev, who controls this issue and is constantly in touch,” Kadyrbaev said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is communicating with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Astana on the issue.

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