Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Father of Chechen killed in Florida says FBI murdered him

MOSCOW — After FBI agents questioned Ibragim Todashev for hours about one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, his father alleged Thursday, they murdered him to keep him from talking.

Abdulbaki Todashev, who applied Thursday for a U.S. visa so he can pick up his son's body in Orlando, where he died, said he has heard nothing from U.S. officials about the May 22 shooting.

"I want justice. I want an investigation," he said at a Moscow news conference. "They come to your house like bandits, and they shoot you."

Ibragim Todashev, 27, was an acquaintance of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged organizer of the Boston bombing. Todashev had moved to Florida two years ago from Massachusetts, his father said. He said FBI officials questioned his son on three separate occasions this spring.

The first time, they asked him about the bombings. The second time, his father said, they asked him about a triple murder in Waltham, Mass., that police suspect Tsarnaev may have carried out. The third interview, which took place at Todashev's home and included Massachusetts state troopers, ended with his death, his father said.

Despite earlier accounts of the incident that suggested Todashev had a weapon, two law enforcement officials told the Washington Post on Wednesday that he was not armed. His father said he was shot seven times.

The FBI has said Todashev attacked an agent, moments after confessing to his part in the Waltham slayings. The New York Times reported Thursday that, according to a law enforcement official speaking off the record, Todashev knocked the agent to the ground with a table and ran at him with a metal pole before being shot.

The elder Todashev displayed photographs of his son's body that he said show six shots to the body and a "control" shot to the back of the head.

"This is proof of cold-blooded murder," said Maxim Shevchenko, a journalist and member of the presidential human rights council who organized Thursday's news conference.

Todashev's father said his son had been planning to return to Chechnya on May 24, though he had apparently canceled his tickets before he was killed May 22. He suggested the FBI didn't want his son to return to Russia.

"Maybe my son knew some sort of information that the police didn't want to get out," he said. "They shut him up. That's my opinion."

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