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Marathon bombing suspects' inner circle under close scrutiny

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, May 4, 2013, 6:21 p.m.

BOSTON — Every time the widow of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev leaves her parents' house, federal agents watching the residence follow her in unmarked vehicles.

Federal authorities are placing intense pressure on what they know to be the inner circle of the two bombing suspects, arresting three college buddies of surviving brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and keeping Tamerlan's 24-year-old widow, Katherine Russell, in the public eye with their open surveillance and leaks to media about investigators' focus on her.

Legal experts say it's part of their quest not just to determine whether Russell and the friends are culpable but to push for as much information as possible regarding whether the bombing suspects had ties to a terrorism network or accomplices working domestically or abroad. A primary goal is to push the widow and friends to give their full cooperation, according to the experts.

David Zlotnick, a professor of law at Roger Williams University and former federal prosecutor in the District of Columbia, said authorities may be tracking Russell closely because they feel she's not being completely honest about all she knows.

“It seems to me they don't believe her yet,” he said.

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