FBI: Man Fatally Shot In Boston Bombing Probe

Investigators stand outside an apartment complex in Orlando, Fla., where on Wednesday a man being questioned by authorities in the Boston bombing probe was fatally shot when he initiated a violent confrontation, FBI officials said. (John Raoux/AP)

Investigators stand outside an apartment complex in Orlando, Fla., where on Wednesday a man being questioned by authorities in the Boston bombing probe was fatally shot when he initiated a violent confrontation, FBI officials said. (John Raoux/AP)

BOSTON — A Chechen immigrant living in Florida was fatally shot early Wednesday by investigators who were questioning him about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. The FBI says the man turned violent during a meeting with a Boston FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers.

WBUR’s Deborah Becker spoke with WBUR’s Bob Oakes about the incident.

Ibragim Todashev, in a May 4 police mugshot provided by the Orange County Corrections Department in Orlando, Fla. (AP)

Ibragim Todashev, in a May 4 police mugshot provided by the Orange County Corrections Department in Orlando, Fla. (AP)

Bob Oakes: What do we know about why this man was being questioned in connection with the marathon bombings?

Deborah Beckher: Ibragim Todashev apparently knew the late suspected marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They were both Chechen immigrants, they both were mixed martial arts fighters and they appear to have trained at the same gym together. Todashev’s neighbors in Allston say FBI agents went to his former apartment there looking for Todashev shortly after the bombing. His friends in Florida say he was repeatedly questioned by the FBI before he was fatally shot.

Do authorities believe he was connected to the marathon bombings?

No. They say they do not believe he was involved in the bombings. They say they were questioning him about his relationship with Tsarnaev, which they uncovered through Todashev’s his cell phone records.

What is the FBI saying about the circumstances of the shooting?

Details from the FBI have been scant at best. But what the FBI has said in a statement is that Todashev was shot after becoming violent as he was being questioned by an FBI special agent and two Massachusetts state police detectives.

What about a possible connection to the unsolved triple murder in Waltham two years ago?

Several media are reporting that Todashev implicated himself in that triple murder in Waltham which occurred on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It was a particularly grisly murder — three men were found with their throats slashed and marijuana and thousands of dollars in cash thrown onto their bodies. Questions were first raised about these murders shortly after the marathon bombings because Tamerlan Tsarnaev was said to be close friends with one of the victims. And despite that, Tsarnaev reportedly did not attend the funeral.

The New York Times is reporting that Todashev implicated himself and Tsarnaev in these murders but then lunged at the law enforcement officials right before he was to write a confession. The Boston Globe is quoting anonymous sources as saying that law enforcement officials are looking into whether the gun Tamerlan Tsarnaev used to allegedly kill MIT police officer Sean Collier was acquired from one of these three men killed in Waltham. The Middlesex County district attorney’s office said it will not comment on any of these developments. The DA’s office only said that an active investigation continues into the Waltham murders.

How long did Todashev live in Massachusetts?

Todashev came to America from Russia several years ago to study on a J-1 visa, In 2008, he was granted asylum and obtained a green card in February 2013. It appears he lived in both Cambridge and Allston for a time. And we know that he received a Florida drivers license about a year ago.

Was anyone else hurt in the shooting in Orlando?

The FBI agent involved was taken to the hospital with what are described as non-life threatening injuries. An FBI investigation team has been dispatched to Orlando to look in to what happened.

This post was updated with the Morning Edition interview.

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  • dust truck

    Great job guys, now how are we going to get testimony about the groups that recruited Tsarnaev?

  • MassachusettsNo1

    I am once again shocked by how unsafe and corrupt the FBI have become. This is justice? The story is so full of their spin. An FBI agent has the right to kill because someone once was arrested and was a practitioner of Martial Arts? Shall we just give up? I’m not the paranoid type, but it’s time for all law enforcement folks to settle down, and realize they are making things for most people a lot worse by their own gun happy behavior. I’d like our congressional “leaders” to start thinking of ways to deal with the outrageous paramilitary extremists that exist within the framework of our government.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Louis-Krodel/1632860166 Louis Krodel

    No – everyone does not deserve a respectful burial — since when was that right developed. An example: Catholics who commit suicide cannot be buried in consecrated ground; Jews who have tattoos or commit suicide cannot be buried in consecrated ground — I am unfamiliar with restrictions in Islamic teachings. In Israel the following is done. The r remains are buried in a government plot with the following words:

    Burying terrorists sends an important message to ourselves: Even as we fight a just war against our enemies, we should not lose sensitivity to the human tragedy of this wickedness. Indeed, for these reasons, Israel maintains special cemeteries and caskets to bury foreign terrorists.

    Even if he were found guilty of the crimes he allegedly committed, Tsarnaev should have received the simplest of burials in an undisclosed government property with the following written at the site: “Buried here is a terrorist who was born in the image of God with unlimited potential to do good but who desecrated that virtue with his violent actions. May his victims rest in peace, and may the society that buried him continue to emulate the ways of God and merit to live in a world of peace.” Amen.

  • TJtruthandjustice

    From The Guardian (UK):

    The friend, Khasn Taramov, told reporters that Todashev had last spoken to Tsarnaev about a month ago, and had recently cancelled plans for a trip back to Chechnya, his homeland. He denied that his friend had any involvement with the April 15 bombing that left three dead and morethan 260 injured.

    “Me and him and my friends, we knew this was going to happen. That’s why he wanted to leave the country,” Taramov told Orlando news channel Wesh TV.

    “But he cancelled the tickets. The FBI’s been pushing him, ‘Don’t leave, don’t leave.’ So he decided to stay,” he said.

    Dave Couvertier, an FBI spspect while conducting official duties” and said he
    expected to be able to release further details of the incident later on

    But Taramov claimed that his friend was shot dead after the FBI detained him for questioning about his link to Tsarnaev, 26, the elder of two brothers suspected of carrying out the marathon bombing.

    “They took me and my friend, the suspect that got killed,” Mr Taramov said. “They were talking to us, both of us, right? And they said they need him for a little more, for a couple more hours, and I left, and they told me they’re going to bring him back. They never brought him back.”

    He added that his friend “felt inside he was going to get shot” by the FBI.


    So how do we expect NPR to handle this story? Let me go out on a limb and say that NPR will transcribe the FBI’s account of the matter word for word, report it as fact, and then move onto other things. This is a good example of why Americans so eagerly seek sources of news outside the U.S. mainstream media. The emperor has no clothes, and everybody but MSM news outlets seems to understand that.

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