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Authorities search apartment for possible Boston bombings link

April 22, 2013|By Michael J. Mishak and Brian Bennett

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- As the probe into the Boston Marathon bombings continued, investigators on Monday removed items from an apartment here where authorities had arrested two foreign nationals on immigration violations. 

The two foreign nationals, who are students, and a third student who was not arrested were questioned by FBI agents on Friday about bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, said a law enforcement source. The arrests came on Saturday.

The official said investigators know the three were acquainted with Tsarnaev, but don’t know if they have any connection to the bombings.

Tsarnaev was a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth nearby and had a room in Pine Dale Hall, where investigators revealed Monday that they found a large pyrotechnic device and BBs.
 
In New Bedford, investigators in white hazmat suits, yellow boots and blue rubber gloves loaded boxes into an unmarked white truck from a bottom-floor unit of the building in the Hidden Brook apartment complex.

The front of the apartment building was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape.

New Bedford animal control also sent two trucks, but it is unclear what they removed.

A federal law enforcement official said Homeland Security Investigations, an investigative arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, helped the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts serve a search warrant at the apartment. The search was related to the Boston bombings investigation, he said.

Ross Feinstein, an ICE spokesman, declined to comment on the search. He directed questions to the U.S. attorney’s office. After the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations is the second-largest federal law enforcement entity taking part in the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force.

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michael.mishak@latimes.com

brian.bennett@latimes.com

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