Boston Bombers' Taxi Driver Friend Jailed 2.5 Years

A taxi driver friend of the Boston bombers was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison Thursday for obstructing the FBI investigation into the bloody 2013 attacks.

Khairullozhon Matanov, a legal immigrant from Kyrgyzstan, is the fourth friend of the Tsarnaev brothers to be jailed for impeding investigators in the days after the marathon attacks.

The April 15, 2013 bombings killed three people and wounded 264 others, in one of the deadliest attacks in the United States since the September 11 al-Qaida attacks in New York.

Matanov lied to FBI agents about his friendship, contact and communication with Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the attacks and about his apparent beliefs about violence.

None of the four friends were accused of taking part in the attacks or of knowing about the bombings ahead of time.

Tamerlan was shot dead by police on April 19, 2013, and Dzhokhar was sentenced to death by a jury in Boston last month.

Just 40 minutes after the bombings, Matanov drove the brothers to a restaurant where they discussed the attacks over a meal.

The next day he tried repeatedly to ring Dzhokhar but could not get through and visited Tamerlan at his home that evening.

After news outlets reported the FBI was looking for the brothers, Matanov deleted Internet searches for their photographs as well as files with violent content or calls to violence.

He had been living in the United States since 2010 working various jobs, and resided in Quincy, north of Boston.

Source: Agence France Presse

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