FBI kills 'friend of Boston bomb suspects' during questioning in Florida

Man identified as Ibragim Todashev, who reportedly knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev as both were mixed martial-arts fighters

An FBI agent has shot and killed a Chechen man with alleged ties to deceased Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in what was described as a “violent confrontation” in the early hours of Wednesday in Orlando, Florida.

Officials said the man, identified as 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev, was being interviewed about his friendship with Tsarnaev when he tried to attack an agent with a knife. The FBI confirmed the agent sustained “non-life threatening injuries” before shooting dead his assailant.

Law enforcement officers reportedly visited Mr Todashev at his apartment late on Tuesday night. Mr Todashev, who had been living in the US for the past five years, spent some of that time in Boston, and came into contact with Tsarnaev through the mixed martial arts community.  Authorities suspect the pair of a gruesome, unsolved triple murder, committed on 11 September 2011, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Brendan Mess, Raphael Teken, and Erik Weissman were found with their throats cut at an apartment in Waltham, Massachusetts; their bodies were covered with marijuana. Tsarnaev had previously described Mr Mess as his best friend, though the two had reportedly fallen out.

Mr Todashev was initially co-operative, but allegedly turned violent during questioning. Officials claimed he admitted involvement in the murders, and then lashed out as he was asked to sign a written statement, confessing his part in the crime.

The Orlando news station WESH-TV spoke to Mr Todashev’s friend Khusn Taramiv, who said he too had been interviewed. “[The FBI] were talking to us, both of us,” he said. “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.” Mr Todashev had been targeted by the FBI, Mr Taramiv claimed, because he was a Muslim. “He was not radical at all,” Mr Taramiv said.

Earlier this month, Mr Todashev had been arrested by Florida police for aggravated battery, after he allegedly assaulted a 54-year-old man and his 35-year-old son after a dispute about a parking space at an Orlando shopping mall. He was detained at gunpoint by a security guard after attempting to flee in a Mercedes.

The FBI had questioned Mr Todashev at least twice previously about his relationship with Tsarnaev, following the bombings at the Boston Marathon on 15 April, which killed three people and wounded more than 250. Mr Taramiv claimed Mr Todashev and his friends had been under heavy surveillance by law enforcement officials for a month. “They’ve been following us,” Mr Taramiv said. “Every time we go somewhere, there’s two, three cops undercover. We see them.”

The authorities have spent the past month investigating how the Tsarnaev brothers became radicalised, and whether they had any accomplices. In interviewing the Tsarnaevs’ friends and family, they have focused on people from Chechnya and the northern Caucasus region of Russia. It is thought Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have come into contact with militants when he travelled to the area last year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teacher Required in Grays

£21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee