On May 21st, an FBI agent and 2 other members of law enforcement questioned Orlando resident Ibragim Todashev about the Boston bombing and an unsolved, 2011 triple murder committed in Waltham, Mass. Though initially cooperative, several hours into the session, Todashev became violent and attacked the FBI agent. Forced to defend himself, the agent shot and killed Todashev.
This was the simple, straightforward explanation of Todashev’s death originally related by officials on the scene—the story of an agent defending himself against a sudden and unforeseen attack by a dangerous suspect. But in the days following the killing, the once-simple account has become a tangle of “conflicting explanations” offered by anonymous law enforcement sources. No one wants to go on record with the facts of the shooting– “facts” that have changed with each passing day.
And no one has revised those facts more often or more completely than the FBI.
Among the glaring inconsistencies in the Bureau’s narrative:
- It was claimed that Todashev confessed involvement with Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the 2011 Waltham triple murder. While writing his confession to the crime, Todashev suddenly leapt across a table at an FBI agent, threatening him with a knife. The agent drew his gun and killed Todashev. Some hours later, however, it was no longer clear who did the shooting. We are only told that Todashev attacked an FBI agent with a knife and was then killed. The Bureau (FBI) “…left open the question who was responsible” for shooting the suspect.
- A week after the incident, the FBI reported that Todashev was unarmed, but that he might have been lunging for the FBI agent’s gun or perhaps for a Samurai sword that was in a corner of the room. The knife had been dropped from the narrative.
- A “senior law enforcement official” now says Todashev was armed with either a metal pole or a broom when he attacked the FBI agent.
- Last week, the FBI launched a 13 member, internal investigation into the shooting. As a result, there is no longer any mention of Todashev having confessed to involvement in the Waltham, Mass triple murder. In fact, he was only being questioned because it was discovered that he had Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s telephone number.
- One report had Todashev alone in the room with the FBI agent during the attack. It was then claimed that a Massachusetts State Police detective was also present. The original story had 3 individuals in the room with Todashev. Also, the FBI agent may or may not have been the only one to fire his weapon.
Nearly 2 weeks have passed since Ibragim Todashev was killed, yet it is still uncertain how many members of law enforcement were in the room with the Chechnyan; who and how many took part in the shooting; whether Todashev had a gun, knife, Samurai sword, metal pole, broomstick, or was unarmed; whether he had confessed to assisting Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a triple slaying; and whether or not he was a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Results of an autopsy will not be available for weeks, perhaps months “because the case is under criminal investigation.”
Though Ibragim Todashev might have deserved his fate, there can be no doubt the FBI has gotten away with murder on numerous occasions and in some very highly publicized cases.
Tomorrow, we will look at some of the infamous exploits of the Bureau.