TODAY   |  May 02, 2013

Friends of Boston bomb suspect to stay in custody

Three men, all 19 and friends of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will remain in federal custody until a court hearing later this month. They are accused of disposing of evidence. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>>> new information this morning on the arrest of three additional suspects tied to the boston bombing investigation. pete williams has the overnight developments on this story. pete, good morning to you.

>> matt, good morning. these three men, all age 19, all said to be friends of bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev. they're not accused of having anything to do with planning or carrying out the bombing, this is all about what happened afterward.

>> reporter: at the dartmouth campus, students say they can scarcely believe it. three more arrests.

>> i was just kind of surprised because this has been such a long, ongoing thing.

>> reporte the three, two here on student visas, are accused of taking a backpack belonging to eir friend, bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev. the fbi says the three became concerned three days after the marathon attack when the fbi released pictures of the bombing suspects. court documents say he texted tsarnaev that he looked like one of the suspects and tsarnaev responded lol and come to my room and take whatever you want . they did go to his room a short time later. he knew he should empty the back back that when he saw what it contained he knew he was involved in the bombing. all three saw television news reports identifying their friend as one of the bombing suspects. agents say they threw the backpack into the garbage. the fbi found it six days ago and said it contained these fireworks. a lawyer says his client was not trying to hide anything.

>> he did not know those items were involved in a bombing of any interest in a bombing or any evidential value.

>> one other note here. the fbi says a little over a month ago, tsarnaev told the two students from kazakhstan he knew how to make a bomb. matt?

>> all right, pete williams in washington on this for us. thank you very much.