Boston bombing suspect's widow hires criminal attorney

Katherine Russell, wife of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, leaving the house where he lived on Norfolk street in Cambridge, Mass., the day after Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police. They have a three year old daughter. Tsarnaev was married to Katherine Russell, who grew up in North Kingstown, R.I., where her father Russell is a doctor and her mother a nurse. The 24-year-old woman was raised a Christian and converted to Islam after marrying Tsarnaev when she was a student. Farrington/Polaris

PROVIDENCE, R.I. The widow of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has hired a prominent criminal lawyer with experience defending terrorism cases as she continues to face questions from federal authorities.

Katherine Russell added New York lawyer Joshua Dratel to her legal team, her attorney Amato DeLuca said Wednesday. Dratel has represented a number of terrorism suspects in federal courts and military commissions, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee David Hicks, who attended an al Qaeda-linked training camp in Afghanistan.

"Mr. Dratel's unique, specialized experience will help insure that Katie can assist in the ongoing investigation in the most constructive way possible," DeLuca said in a written statement.

He said Russell, who has not been charged with any crime, will continue to meet with investigators as "part of a series of meetings over many hours where she has answered questions."

Providence-based DeLuca and Miriam Weizenbaum have been representing Russell, who is from Rhode Island. They specialize in civil cases such as personal injury law.

An FBI spokeswoman wouldn't comment when asked Wednesday whether Russell is cooperating.

DeLuca has said Russell had no reason to suspect her husband and his younger brother in the deadly April 15 bombing.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechens from southern Russia, are accused of planting two shrapnel-packed pressure cooker bombs near the marathon's finish line, killing three people and injuring about 260. Tamerlan was killed in a getaway attempt after a gunbattle with police. Dzhokhar was captured hiding in a tarp-covered boat outside a house in a Boston suburb and was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. Their mother has said the allegations against them are lies.

Russell, 24, married Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2010, and they had been living in Cambridge, Mass., with their 2-year-old daughter when the bombing happened. Russell has been staying in her family's home in North Kingstown, just south of Providence, since her husband and brother-in-law were identified as suspects in the case.

Hicks, an Australian, spent more than five years at Guantanamo. He pleaded guilty in March 2007 and served a nine-month sentence in Australia.

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