Damning Detail in the Boston Bombing Arrests

Nice catch by Ace: The three who were arrested today in connection with the Boston bombing disposed of items that belonged to the Tsarnaev brothers. Here's a list.

Three days after the blasts, on April 18, the three men allegedly removed Tsarnaev’s backpack, which contained fireworks that had been opened and emptied of gunpowder, from his dormitory room.

Suspecting that Tsarnaev was involved in the bombing after authorities released surveillance video of the bombers that afternoon, the trio decided to throw the backpack and fireworks in the trash “because they did not want to get Tsarnaev into trouble,” according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent in support of the charges.

On Friday, authorities recovered the backpack from a landfill in New Bedford. Inside, agents found fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, and a UMass Dartmouth homework assignment sheet, among other things. The homework sheet was for a class in which Tsarnaev was enrolled, the agent said in the sworn statement. It wasn’t clear from the affidavit what happened to the laptop.

I used to fool around with fireworks and explosives when I was in high school. A buddy was into model rocketry and aeronautical engineering, he had a homemade cannon that we used to launch golf balls, he designed his own rocket engines and charge packs to launch the golf balls with the cannon. It was all innocent fun and he eventually made a productive career out of it all. I ended up at NASA, for what it's worth, though not as a rocket scientist. During those high school explorations, I learned quite a bit about how rocket engines work, how to mix and mill black powder on the cheap, all kinds of interesting things. I wouldn't call myself an expert, but certainly knowledgeable.

During all that time, we never used Vaseline in any of our stuff, not one time, and I had no idea that you could use Vaseline in explosives. But some people are aware that you can.

The three friends of the Boston bombers not only knew about Vaseline's role in explosives, they collectively decided to get rid of the Vaseline that belonged to the bombers once their pal had become a suspect.

There's a suggestion there that they at least knew what the bombers were doing with Vaseline, which has a whole lot more uses than explosives.

If not that, there's certainly a suggestion that they're of like mind with the bombers. Their pal had just been accused of killing, among others, a little boy who was waiting at the marathon finish line to hug his dad. Who, if they're not with the terrorists, would respond to the knowledge that they personally know a lead suspect, by proactively helping that suspect dispose of evidence?