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American citizen Robel Phillipos is one of the three more suspects arrested last month in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings.

Robel Phillipos’s past and character isn’t as much of a mystery to us as fellow suspects Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, but the question still remains, how did this former daycare worker turn into a suspect?

Seeing what happens to Robel Phillipos, who is an American citizen like his colleague and friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will show us how investigators and law officials treat someone who allegedly aided suspect accused of terrorism.

Robel Phillipos, 19, isn’t charged with physically tampering with evidence, more specifically throwing out Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack, but he is being charged with lying to federal investigators over the course of four interviews.

“The only allegation he made is a misrepresentation,” his lawyer Derege Demissie said.

Robel Phillipos and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were classmates even before college. Robel Phillipos, according to school officials who spoke to Bloomberg, was a 2011 graduate of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also graduated in 2011, and actually received a $2,500 scholarship. What isn’t clear is how close they were in school.

“A yearbook photograph shows a smiling Phillipos. Almost directly in front of him, Tsarnaev stares at the camera – his hand gently resting under his chin,” reads the CNN report, but that doesn’t tell us if or how close Robel Phillipos and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were friends in high school. And though there are multiple reports from friends, neighbors, and people who played basketball with Robel Phillipos, none of them have commented on the type of friendship, if any, that he and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had. He and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were classmates for a brief period at UMass Dartmouth.

Robel Phillipos is one of the three more suspects arrested last month in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings

Robel Phillipos is one of the three more suspects arrested last month in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings

Robel Phillipos dropped out of School to take care his sick mother.

UMass Dartmouth said that Robel Phillipos, like Dias Kadyrbayev, was not a student at the time of his arrest. But reports say that before he dropped out, he was studying marketing.

“According to a former classmate and friend who worked with Phillipos at a daycare center, Phillipos was attending classes remotely at the time of his arrest because he was staying home to care for his mother, who is ill,” report Erin Baldassari and Amy Saltzman for the Cambridge Chronicle. Though the daycare center where Robel Phillipos worked at isn’t specified, we know he was also active in the Cambridge Kids Council, Cambridge Kids’ Council – a program chaired by the mayor of Cambridge and is, according to its website, “dedicated to developing policy recommendations and programs aimed at improving the quality of life for children, youth and families in the City of Cambridge.”

Robel Phillipos, according to USA Today, was raised by his mother, Genet Bekele, who herself was an immigrant from Ethiopia.

“She is a single mother and works with refugees,” NBC Boston reported, while the Cambridge Chronicle team added: “A devout Protestant, Phillipos’ mother worked directly with refugees and often involved herself in charitable work, the friend said.”

“Do What You Have to Do.”

That’s the phrase that Robel Phillipos is quoted as saying in the criminal complaint. He apparently muttered those words to Dias Kadyrbayev, while discussing what to do with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack. That sounds like reluctance on Robel Phillipos’s part, and according to one of his friends, that’s his catchphrase when he doesn’t like what’s going on. The Chronicle report reads:  “One friend said Phillipos wasn’t prone to drama and would often detach himself from sticky situations. Defending allegations that Phillipos lied to investigators to protect Tsarnaev, friends said Phillipos didn’t get in trouble often.

“I know Robel, if he’s not with something, he’s going to say, <<You do you>>. That’s how Robel works,” a friend said, referring to the criminal complaint that quotes Phillipos as reportedly saying, <<Do what you have to do>>.”

Robel Phillipos lived close to the carjacking.

This was mentioned in the initial reports, but Robel Phillipos and his mother lived very close from the carjacking the Tsarnaev brothers committed, which eventually became their undoing.

“The family’s apartment building is located next to the gas station where the carjacking victim from the night of the shootout in Watertown escaped,” reports NBC Boston. There’s no indication from officials that Robel Phillipos did anything more than lie to federal officials, but that’s a strange coincidence to have the Tsarnaev brothers on the loose that night and were in walking distance to their friend’s house.

Robel Phillipos, 19, was released Monday on $100,000 bond and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet while under house arrest awaiting trial.

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Three new suspects were arrested in connection to the Boston Marathon bombing and they are thought to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s roommates, Kazachs  Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov and an unamed American, who helped him cover his tracks after the fatal blasts.

The Boston Police Department were the first ones to report the arrest over their Twitter feed, and The Boston Globe claimed that the three people in custody were college students and the roommates of the younger bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Federal sources told The Washington Post that the three students disposed of undisclosed material in a landfill on behalf of their 19-year-old Chechen friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev following the bombing.

The clue fits as police were seen searching a landfill in nearby New Bedford, Massachusetts last week during their search for evidence in the case.

Two of the suspects, identified as Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, were already in police custody in regards to an immigration issue that investigators discovered after questioning them over their license plates that read “TERRORISTA#1”. Those two friends are Kazakh citizens and the third is thought to be an American national.

The three are charged with making false statements and conspiracy to obstruct justice, which implies that they were not involved in actually carrying out the attack but rather helping the suspect evade police after the fatal blasts.

Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square last year

Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square last year

The claims were reiterated by NBC’s Pete Williams, who said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s roommates were arrested Wednesday and charged with giving false information to police.

The three were all students at UMass Dartmouth- where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was enrolled- and that they helped him after the April 15 bombings.

This is not the first time that the bomber’s roommates have come under investigation, as they prompted alarm bells after it was revealed that they were driving a BMW with license plates that read “TERRORISTA#1”.

Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov remained in custody over immigration issues as they are Kazakh nationals whose academic visas had expired.

CNN has since identified Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov as two of the three friends that were arrested today.

The third person in custody on Wednesday is believed to be an American citizen who will be charged with making a false statement, according to CBS.

Attorney Robert Stahl told CBS that they were drawn to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev because he also spoke Russian.

The attorney confirmed they now face separate federal charges and have an afternoon court appearance related to the bombing case.

CBS reports that the men will be charged conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.

ABC affiliate WCVB reports, citing a lawyer who was briefed on the case early Wednesday, that the three suspects disposed “of a backpack full of fireworks that was in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room, done at the request of Tsarnaev sometime after the bombing.”

CBS reports that the suspects were arrested for “harboring or aiding the suspects after the fact” and that they are in the custody of the FBI.

“At this point, we’re not really in a position to make any comment,” FBI spokesman Alison Mahan told Talking Points Memo.

The Boston police followed up their initial tweet by confirming that there is no threat to public safety.

The news of the arrests comes one day after the elder suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife Katherine Russell was interviewed by investigators after they spent hours searching her home.

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