UPDATE 2021- this case has now been cold for about seven years. We may never get any more insight into how Ibragim Todashev died. The current official story is more or less; “While while being questioned by Feds in his home about possible connections to the Tsarnaev Brothers he flipped out and violently attacked FBI agents with what’s sometimes been described as a decorative or ceremonial sword”
UPDATE March 24, 2014- This article was originally blogged months ago and reflects the reality as seen at that time. Today, in a report on the Rachel Maddow show, we found out the whoe thing was a lot more bizarre than we could have imagined. While I HAVE edited here and there to reflect that the Truther views are now in ascendancy, the original premise was this was explainable. Its not all that explainable anymore, so read on with that in mind.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT -The Boston Bombing investigation took a turn for the bizarre when police and/or FBI shot and killed Ibragim Todashev; a young man with ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
As for the facts, the Atlantic Wire story on this ran them down well-
“The facts: Todashev (pronounced TOE-duh-shev) was a 27-year-old ethnic Chechen who hung out with the elder Tsarnaev in Boston and moved to Florida two years ago. He was shot dead after apparently lunging at an officer after walking away from questioning at his condo
near Universal Studios in Orlando. What spilled out in the immediate aftermath were reports that 1) Todashev was about to complete his written confession, perhaps strengthening the case against Tsarnaev; and 2) Todashev apparently pulled a knife on investigators and was subsequently shot dead. He was one of the only people in America who may have known when Tsarnaev and how the Tsarnaev’s went from pot smoking, disaffected guys to radical killers who didn’t do drugs at all. With Dzokhar Tsarnaev looking at a new trial as of 2020 it would have been helpful if we had gotten more from Todashev.
Of the written confessions existence and the idea Todashev pulled a knife? The Atlantic Wire put it like this – both of those claims seem a lot less solid today, as law enforcement sources reassess their leaks once again in this information flood —
The Truthers Will Say-
Truthers will assert that this shows that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother were part of a larger conspiracy. This seems reasonable because we started out with more than one person, the wife of Tamerlan is under scrutiny and there’s a bunch of schmuck friends of Dzohkar Tsarnaev incarcerated (or in one case out on bail) by the Feds for fucking with evidence. So it IS conspiratorial by nature. It may go a little further, but it will not extend to
some Black Helicopter Section of the Government….will it?
This is Truther Gold and for once just because they are sometimes annoyingly gullible it doesn’t mean they are wrong. Something VERY strange is going on.
The Truther Assertions of late have become more and more grandiose, like when Alex Jones pondered the possibility that the EF5 Tornado that obliterated Moore, Oklahoma, may have been the result of a “Government Weather Weapon”. This is Bond Villain shit and impossible. Period.
The Truthers have another interesting thing going for them here- Todashev was killed under mysterious circumstances. Initial reports are confused and obscure. I admit, there’s nothing about this incident that makes sense.
I have been down Dr Phillips Drive and the area around the Universal Studios area. My friends lived so close we could hear the screaming from the rides. I was in the area many many times when I lived in Orlando last year. So when I read the report and viewed the story on CNN I could sorta feel the immediacy of it more. The guy lived in a decent area. Not Rodeo Drive or Park Avenue but it was definitely ok, hardly the lair of a Super Villain. Adds to the odd nature of this.
Super Villain or not though, who the Hell would ever imagine this level of criminal confession to be the kind of thing that would be done in the suspects living room? The charges of Triple Murder would seem to warrant ‘running him in”
Many people will rightly question why the questioning went down like this. Does anyone really think this happens all the time? Weird.
Playing the Skeptic
The skeptic in me sees there are multiple plausible reasons this went down so badly. Were it an airline crash we would call it pilot error, but in this case we call it “Bad Police Work.”
Because federal Agents should be able to enact a live capture on a guy who maybe had a knife at best there’s a lot of information we need to know. Todashev was something of a bad ass. He had some Mixed Martial Arts skills and may have been part of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s emerging criminal footprint.
Did he have a knife and go all MMA on the Feds and Cops, maybe with an eye towards grabbing at a cops gun? Seems very plausible considering he had just copped to triple murder and may get the needle. Why not? Did the cops over react? Probably, but considering what he was linked to it seems crazy he wasn’t under arrest and in an interview room at the culmination of a confession of this magnitude. People will point out he never got a chance to share his story with a lawyer, but if the guy went ape shit that is a moot point.
Bad Police work enabled a spontaneous “Suicide by Cop”. We saw the same thing captured by stunning dashboard cam footage when Wanna Be Domestic Terrorist James Gilkerson attacked Ohio Police Officer with an AK-47 in March.
So if it’s suicide by cop it makes sense and it would go down like this–The game was over, the case was ironclad, Todashev was through. He was never going to be a free man again and would likely be on Death Row. It’s plausible if not likely a person in this situation, especially someone who thought they were bad ass enough to maybe even pull something off, would opt to go out like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Todashev’s buddies the Tsarnaev’s had attempted the same thing (albeit with a little more success) when cornered.
This theory holds plenty of water but at this point the Truthers have as good a theory as any.
UPDATE 2021- The FBI has never really accounted for what happened. Its hard to figure because Todashev is just not that sympathetic a character and had associated with real lowlives. The biggest issue here is its just bad for our Justice System we don’t know more. I also have a hard time believing we don’t have so much as audio of this. Seems worth recording considering who he was fingering. Supposedly, you JOIN the FBI to catch guys who are caught up in things Todashev may have been part of. People will always wonder if he was just executed or is the FBI Agents just lost their cool.
UPDATE- Todashev’s father Abdul-Bakhti Todashev is making claims his son was shot ‘execution style’. Todashev held up an autopsy picture of his son, but it sheds no immediate light on how or where he was shot but there is some discoloration that appears to be bruising and possibly an entry wound. Its still unclear. (03/26/14)** We still don’t have a lot on these pictures
So far it seems like the FBI mismanaged themselves into a place where there actions will fuel wild speculation about some sort of Conspiracy. It DOES seem convenient he ended up dead with no one else to tell the story. A conspiracy of ineptitude at the very least seems to be going on. People will rightfully suspect a cover up. The question really is ‘is the misinformation the FBI trying to protect themselves and doing a terrible job or is this something larger. Right now it’s a tie between these 2 theories.
UPDATE- The latest version of the story was that Todashev was alone in a room with a single FBI Agent when he was shot. Self defense takes a beating and incompetent police work moves to the forefront of most likely scenarios.
UPDATE- 3-26-14 Rachel Maddow show has reported ballistics indicate he was shot a bunch of times in the back. The ballistics also seemed to indicate he was falling away when shot. This is super weord and sure to raise suspicions. There needs to be anotherinvestigation run outside the FBI (who investigate themselves).
CURRENT BEST GUESS_ These cops and Feds screwed up big time, let their emotions get the better of them and snuffed the guy after he taunted them.