FBI Shoots Ibragim Todashev: Victim Linked to Tamerlan Tsarnaev; Is Government Persecuting Chechens?
Ibragim Todashev reportedly confessed to the FBI that he played a role in a 2011 triple murder in Waltham, Ma., in which the victims had their throats cut and their bodies sprinkled with marijuana. No suspects were ever arrested in the case. One of the three victims, Brendan Mess, was the workout buddy of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, according to CBS Boston.
Like Us on Facebook
Sources are now reporting that as Todashev was about to sign a confession regarding his involvement in the Waltham triple murder, he attacked an FBI agent with a knife, at which point the agent shot and killed him.
Early today the FBI shot and killed an apparent friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Ibragim Todashev, the alleged friend of Tsarnaev, was being interviewed in Orlando, Fla., this morning by the FBI when the shooting occurred. Todashev was initially cooperative during the interview, but then he violently attacked the agent, according to the FBI. The agent was injured, but the injuries are not life threatening.
An FBI spokesman, Dave Couvertier, was unable to confirm the dead man's identity or whether they were looking at him as a link to the Boston bombings.
"We are currently responding to a shooting incident involving an FBI special agent," Couvertier told Reuters in an email. "The incident occurred in Orlando, Florida. The agent encountered the suspect while conducting official duties. The suspect is deceased. We do not have any further details at this time."
Khusn Taramiv, a friend of Todashev, said that Todashev was being investigated in relation to the Boston bombings. He also said that Todashev and Tsarnaev, who were both ethnic Chechens, did Mixed Martial Arts fighting together when Todashev lived in Boston. Several YouTube videos under the title "Ibragim Todashev" appear to show Todashev engaging in MMA. Taramiv said that his friend last talked to Tsarnaev about a month ago, over the phone.
Taramiv told Orlando station WESH that the FBI has been following him and Todashev since the Boston bombings. Taramiv said his friend had no involvement with the bombings.
"He was just a Muslim," Taramiv said. "That was his mistake, I guess."
According to Taramiv, Todashev and FBI agents met on Tuesday night for what was to be the last time, as Todashev was supposed to fly back to his native Chechnya that night. Taramiv said that his friend had purchased his tickets before the Boston bombings, but that federal agents advised him not to go.
"He cancelled the tickets," said Taramiv. "[The FBI] say 'don't leave, don't leave' so he decided to stay. But we had a feeling, worst case scenario something like that was going to happen. You know what I mean," said Taramiv.
According to the New York Times, some Chechens are concerned that, in the wake of the bombings, Russian intelligence officers have been steering the FBI towards Chechens who are critical of Russia, but are not actually terrorist threats. Before the bombings, the FBI had not considered Chechens a threat.
As part of the investigation into possible causes of the Boston bombing, a congressional delegation is traveling to Russian next week to meet with government and terrorism officials, where they plan to discuss intelligence gaps between the two nations. Though Russia had warned the U.S. in 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a potential extremist, the FBI interviewed Tsarnaev and his family and determined that this was not the case.
"If there was a distrust, or lack of cooperation because of that distrust, between the Russian intelligence and the FBI, then that needs to be fixed and we will be talking about that," said Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who is leading the delegation.
"Our goal is to use Boston as an example, if indeed there was something more, that should've been done that wasn't because of a bad attitude," Rohrabacher said. She added, "There's no reason for us to be in the Cold War attitude anymore."
The delegation may also visit Dagestan, an area home to militant Chechen groups where Tsarnaev traveled in 2011.
© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.