Katherine Russell: Investigators hone in on Boston bomber’s widow

Booking photo of Katherine Russell from her 2007 shoplifting arrest. Credit: Warwick, R.I. Police Department.
Booking photo of Katherine Russell from her 2007 shoplifting arrest. Credit: Warwick, R.I. Police Department.

Federal investigators are honing in on alleged Boston bombing mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow Katherine Russell after reportedly discovering radical Islamist files on her laptop computer, according to reports.

Russell, 24, has maintained her innocence in the fatal attack that last month took the lives of three people and injured over 200, however the discovery of the al Qaeda magazine, “Inspire,” along with the presence of explosive residue through their home have raised questions over whether she was involved.

Investigators said on Friday they believe Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, likely made the bombs in Tamerlan’s home on Norfolk Street in Cambridge, which he shared with Russell and their 3-year-old daughter.

CNN recently reported that investigators found traces of explosive residue in the kitchen sink, the bathtub and on a table.

Investigators said they are increasingly convinced that the ethnic Chechen brothers lifted their bomb designs from Internet postings by Islamic militants, though they substituted some components.

Soon after investigators released pictures of the suspected bombers and asked the public for help in identifying and locating the two men, Tamerlan communicated with his wife, said officials familiar with the investigation, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information.

Law enforcement officials said the pair communicated after she saw the pictures of her husband and brother-in-law on television. Russell sent a text message to her husband, a national security source said.

Russell’s lawyer declined to comment on Friday. He said earlier in the week that Russell spent many hours talking with officials and was eager to “provide as much assistance to the investigation as she can.”

Officials took DNA samples from her after a woman’s DNA was found on one of the bomb remnants. Other media have reported that the DNA on the bomb is not a match to Russell. The FBI declined to comment on the matter.

Ever since her husband was killed after a shootout with police, Russell, still dressing in long skirts and traditional Muslim head scarf, has been trying to stay out of sight while living with her parents in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. She has tried to distance herself from the man she married in June, 2010 at a mosque in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.