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Social nets could hold wealth of info on Boston bombers

Sharon Gaudin | April 22, 2013
As the manhunt goes on for the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the bombers' social networks could give investigators needed clues about them.

"In most cases, computer evidence isn't the smoking gun," Jones said. "What it is, though, is the complete picture behind the smoking gun."

Brooke Fisher Liu, an associate professor and researcher on social networks at the University of Maryland, said since there's a manhunt on for the younger Tsarnaev, his social network page may be particularly useful.

She explained that many young people are post on their favorite social networking site where they go on a daily basis. Investigators can look at this site and see where he's comfortable going and where he might have friends or groups that would take him in.

"If the information is out there, [law enforcement] is going to go look for it," Liu said. "

Olds also noted that Tsarnaev's page could give law enforcement a direction to search in.

"They'll look for relatives, friends, sympathizers, and even acquaintances, probably making contact with them and asking if they have any idea where this guy might be and who else might be involved," he added. "As the authorities track down their network, a fuller picture will emerge."

Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, shown in this FBI image at the marathon on Monday. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died early Friday in a shootout with police.


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