Tag Archives: Boston Bombings

FBI Agent Who Shot Bombing Suspect’s Friend Prompts Fraud Investigation

The FBI agent who shot Ibragim Todashev, friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlen Tsarnev, has prompted a fraud probe by the Oakland Police.

According to WCVB Boston, former Oakland police officer Aaron McFarlane received more than $52,000 in disability benefits each year while he was working as an FBI special agent in Boston.

Oakland spokeswoman Karen Boyd told the San Francisco Chronicle that the city plans to investigate the situation.

McFarlane is no stranger to questionable ethics. In an interview with Ben Swann, Todashev’s ex-wife, Reni, said that McFarlane shot Todashev during execution-style during questioning.

“He got 7 shots and one of them was the back of the head.  Clearly this was an execution,” she said. Even though the official autopsy report hasn’t been released. Reni saw the body and though she is not a professional, her impressions were confirmed by a medical examiner when she signed for his body.

“I’m not a professional but from what I see and the medical examiner in Orlando says that he had 7 shots, 1 in the back of the head,” she said.

Watch Ben Swann’s important investigative segment below:

Prosecutor Finds Killing of Tsarnaev Friend By FBI was “Justified”, Leaves More Questions About What Actually Happened

A Florida prosecutor has announced that he will not bring charges against an FBI agent who shot and killed a friend of Boston Bombing suspect Tamerlen Tsarnaev. The story was released on MSN.com and reads more like a press release than a news story.

According the prosecutor, 27 year-old Ibragim Todashev was shot and killed after “a physical outburst threatened the lives of the officers” inside his Orlando home in May of last year. Our Truth in Media episode, which you can view below, took a look at the case around Todashev and his death. As we reported, it was in May of 2013 when officers with the Massachusetts State Police and the FBI went to Todashev’s home to conduct an interview. Somewhere in the course of that interview, things got out of control and Todashev was shot to death, hit reportedly 7 times with bullets.

According to the prosecutor, Todashev was writing a statement admitting his involvement in a murder in Massachusetts when he became agitated.

“Todashev flipped the coffee table he was writing on. It struck an FBI agent who was sitting with them. Then Todashev dashed to the kitchen. The state police officer said he noticed him holding a pole ‘in the style of a javelin, with the end of the pole pointed toward [the officer] as if intended to be used to impale rather than strike.’”

The problem with this story is that it contradicts many of the details we and other media have already been told about the case. As I reported, “The New York Times claimed that Todashev pulled a knife on the agent. Other media claimed it was a samurai sword and then metal pole… some said a broom stick. That is, until the Washington Post was told by an unnamed law enforcement source that Todashev had neither a knife or gun. That he was completely unarmed, but did lunge at the agent.”

unarmed image

Another significant detail that changed in the prosecutors report was the number of people in the room with Todashev when he was shot. The prosecutor’s report claims that at least one FBI agent who was “not seriously injured” was in the room along with a State Police Officer who witnessed Todashev grabbing that pole and lunging forward with it “in the style of a javelin”.

Again, these details contradict what the FBI had originally told media about the case, saying that the FBI agent who was with Todashev was alone.

“According to the FBI, who is doing an internal investigation, immediately prior to the killing, after hours of interrogation, all of the other interrogators withdrew and left the room, leaving the FBI agent who fired the shots alone with Todashev. That agent, claims that Todashev was about to sign a confession to his involvement along with Tamerlen Tsarnev in an unsolved triple murder in Massachusetts and it was just before he was going to sign that confession that he attacked.”

During our Truth in Media story on the killing of Ibrahim Todashev, I spoke with Ibrahim’s widow via Skype. She says the biggest question for the family was how Todashev was shot 7 times including in the top of the head and in the back. The Florida prosecutor explains it this way:

“As Todashev advanced, the injured special agent fired three to four shots. He hit him at the right side of his torso. Todashev fell to the ground but he was not incapacitated. The officers described him getting up and making a “low angled lunge” at them. The special agent fired another three to four shots, killing Todashev. Some of the bullets hit Todashev in the head and back.

The prosecutor goes on to say that he was at first concerned about that detail, but determined that the ‘angle of entry of these particular shots would be difficult to achieve in any orientation other than a shooter greatly elevated above his target … or shooter and target on the same level’ with the target on his hands and knees or trying to get up.”

todashev image 2

The prosecutor never addresses the claim that Todashev was recovering from knee surgery and according to his family was on crutches at the time. The prosecutor does however use Todashev’s MMA background as an explanation for why he would attack the FBI agent, “The one common thread among all was the observation that [Todashev] was, at his core, a fearless fighter. Perhaps on this occasion, he simply reverted to that basic aspect of his personality and chose to go down fighting,”

The decision by the prosecutor not to pursue this case appears to require a complete re-write of the story first shared by law enforcement with the New York Times, the Boston Globe and a host of other media.

What’s more, the Todashev story does not end with the death of Ibragim Todashev. CAIR in Florida has reported that a friend of Todashev, was arrested in September and was denied a lawyer for 6 days. Even though he repeatedly requested to speak with an attorney, the FBI agents allegedly responded, “That is not happening.”

CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Director Thania Diaz Clevenger said in a statement. “It fits the pattern of abuse and troubling behavior by FBI agents beginning in the days prior to the killing of the unarmed Ibragim Todashev. One can only wonder if Mr. Todashev was denied his rights to legal council during the questioning that ultimately resulted in his death.”

Did FBI Execute Friend of Boston Bombing Suspect During Interrogation?

 

Names you know… Dhovar Tsarnev  and Tamerlen Tsarnaev… Two young Chechen born brothers, raised in the United States, radicalized through the internet, and responsible for the deadly Boston Bombing attack.

That is the story media has told you but what about the story they have all but ignored? About another Chechen with a lesser known name. Who is Ibragim Todashev and why was he killed by the FBI during an interrogation over the Tsarnev brothers?

Today, you will hear from the widow of that man, and the questions she is still waiting to have answered.

The first step toward truth is to be informed.

As I said, it is a name most americans don’t know at all Ibragim Todashev.  A 34 year-old Chechen, living in Orlando, Florida and friend of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlen Tsarnev.

Here is the story.

On May 22nd of this year, FBI agents and Massachusetts state police officers showed up in Orlando florida to interview Todashev.

Before moving to Orlando, Todashev lived in Massachusetts.  He was a mixed martial arts fighter and through that sport, became friends with boston bombing suspect Tamerlen Tsarnev.
That was why, only weeks after the bombings, the FBI went to meet with Todashev. but it was during that interrogation when something went terribly wrong

According to a statement released by the FBI,

“The agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers, and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing an individual in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual. During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening injuries.”

So what violent confrontation took place?  Media reports were all over the place on what happened.  The New York Times claimed that Todashev pulled a knife on the agent.  Other media claimed it was a samurai sword and then metal pole, some said a broom stick.  That is, until
the Washington Post was told by an unnamed law enforcement source that Todashev had neither a knife or gun, that he was completely unarmed but did lunge at the agent.

Who saw this happen?

Another important question.  Because according to the FBI, who is doing an internal investigation,  immediately prior to the killing, after hours of interrogation, all of the other interrogators withdrew and left the room, leaving the FBI agent who fired the shots alone with Todashev.

That agent, claims that Todashev was about to sign a confession to his involvement along with Tamerlen Tsarnev in an unsolved triple murder in Massachusetts and it was just before he was going to sign that confession that he attacked.

The ex-wife of Todashev spoke to me via Skype.

Ben:  “What do you make of the claim that all the agents left him and only the agent who killed Ibragim  remained in the room with him?”

Reni:  “We still don’t know what exactly happened, how many were in there when he was shot.  It is still not clear, they are not telling us anything.  So far we know it was three of them when they started the interrogation of them but who was in there when he was shot, we still don’t know.”

Aside from the very strange details surrounding an FBI agent left alone with a suspect, who then must defend himself and kill that suspect, are these details.

The agent who shot and killed Todashev, reportedly shot him 7 times including in the head and chest.  I say reportedly, because on July 8th, the autopsy report on Ibragim Toashev was finalized and ready for release.  According to the Orlando medical examiners office forensic records coordinator,

“The FBI has informed this office that the case is still under investigation and not to release this document.”

All of which is not only unusual, but the entire investigation so far has been surrounded by secrecy.  Another issue that the FBI has not even addressed is that while the claim was that Todashev attempted to attack the agent, friends and his ex-wife claim that Todashev was recovering from knee surgery.

Ben:  “You say that Ibragim was recovering from knee surgery, so what was the injury and how bad was that knee?”

Reni:  “He had done his surgery in the middle of march.  For a month and a half he was still on crutches.  He was still limping, he was still in pain and with a light touch to his knee, he would feel the pain. He was still in pain on the knee, he was still walking and limping on the knee.”

Ben:  “Is it true that he was on crutches at the time that he was killed?”

Reni:  “Not necessarily.  He was on them sometimes and when he would feel the pain he would go and get the crutches.”

Ben:  “Obviously it is speculation on your part but why do you believe that Ibragim was killed?”

Reni:  “He got 7 shots and one of them was the back of the head.  Clearly this was an execution.”

Ben:  “How do you know that one was to the back of the head?”

Reni:  “Because I saw the body.”

Ben:  “How do you know that it was an entry wound and not an exit wound for the bullet?”

Reni:  “I can’t tell, I’m not a professional but from what I see and the medical examiner in Orlando says that he had 7 shots, 1 in the back of the head.”

Ben:  “The medical examiner told you?”

Reni:  “Yes, they have told me from day one when I came to sign for the body and to take it.”

Ben:  “And he told you that he was shot in the back of the head?  Incredible.”

Reni:  “He said that he had 7 shots, 1 in the head, 3 in the heart, 1 in the liver and I believe that 1 was somewhere in the shoulder or in the arm.”

What you need to know, is that while the ACLU has requested an independent investigation in Florida and Massachusetts, both those requests have been rejected by law enforcement, saying that it would be inappropriate.

Meanwhile, CAIR in Florida is reporting that a friend of Todashev, was arrested in September and was denied a lawyer for 6 days.  That even though he repeatedly requested to speak with an attorney, the FBI agents allegedly responded, “That is not happening.”

CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Director Thania Diaz Clevenger said in a statement.

“It fits the pattern of abuse and troubling behavior by FBI agents beginning in the days prior to the killing of the unarmed Ibragim Todashev. One can only wonder if Mr. Todashev was denied his rights to legal council  during the questioning that ultimately resulted in his death.”

In addition, other Chechen friends of Todashev say they are being pressured by the FBI to spy on friends and neighbors.  The story here that media just won’t cover is the incredible secrecy surrounding this young man’s death, the fact that he was killed so brutally during an interrogation and to so many people its not even that big of a deal because he might be connected to a terrorist.