Following the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings last month, local police and FBI tracked the leading suspects — the Tsarnaev brothers — to the suburb of Watertown, Connecticut. What remains unclear to investigators, however, is what connections the Tsarnaevs had to Watertown and why they thought it was a place that might evade police detection.
As it turns out, Watertown has been the focus of at least one other major terrorist investigation in recent years.
According to ABC News, the Tsarnaevs had friends in the area, including Maximilian Freddura, a member of “a prominent Boston restaurateur family.” Freddura’s apartment is just one block away from the intersection of Laurel and Dextor Streets — where police engaged in a firefight with the Tsarnaev brothers five days after the bombing.
Police also raided a home in Arlington where the younger Tsarnaev — Dzhokar — had had a previous run-in with police:
According to the police report obtained by ABC News, Dzhokhar and two other men were seen drinking in another car registered to Dzhokhar, the 1999 Green Honda Civic that investigators believe Dzhokhar drove during the police chase into Watertown.
“In the driver seat was Dzhokar Tsarnaev,” the report states.
Dzhokhar was issued a ticket for parking in a restricted area and was released. Another occupant of the car said he was the one drinking and received a $500 fine for having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
According to ABC, this isn’t the first time Watertown had been the scene of a terrorist investigation. In fact, the Boston Marathon bombings investigation marked the second time in just three years that the blue-collar suburb appeared to have terrorist links:
In 2010, Watertown was the scene of FBI raids after agents learned that Faisal Shahzad, convicted of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, came to the suburb to pick up $5,000 cash from a Pakistani citizen living there, according to federal court records.
The Pakistani, Aftab Ali, was identified by authorities as part of a militant group, Tehrik-e-Taliban, and was deported.
Authorities said they know of no link between the Times Square bomber and the two accused Marathon bombers, other than the coincidental connections to Watertown.