The Federal Bureau of Investigation has cleared the unnamed agent who shot Ibragim Todashev last year of murder charges. Todashev was a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston marathon bombings. Florida Prosecutors and the FBI state the agent acted in self defense.
The FBI agent was interviewing Todashev at his home in Orlando due to his self-incrimination of involvement in the 2011 September killings of Brendan Mess, Rafael Teken, and Erik Weissman. The Guardian reported he also incriminated Tsarnaev in the killings and then became very agitated. When he flipped over a coffee table, wounded the agent, and came after a police office with a broom stick “in the style of a javelin”, the FBI agent decided to act.
“In order to stop this threat, I shot Todashev three to four times,” the agent told state investigators according to the LA Times. “Todashev fell backwards, but did not go to the ground. He then re-established his footing and suddenly lunged toward us. I shot him three or four more times in order to stop his continuing deadly threat. This time Todashev fell to the ground face first and I believed the threat had been eliminated.”
The Associated Press reported Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton wrote a letter clearing the agent of charges: “The one common thread among all was the observation that he 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.”
This American Life, a program of Nation Public Radio of WBEZ, ran a special report on Todashev earlier this month. Describing the events as “weird in itself,” the report goes on to say, “But weirder still is the fact that the FBI has been silent about what happened. They first promised an investigation on this last May. And since then, we’ve heard that it’s coming, but nine months later it hasn’t arrived. So many questions remain: what happened during that interrogation that led to them shooting Ibragim Todashev? If they had such good evidence connecting him to these murders, why didn’t they just arrest him? What evidence did they have? How good is the evidence connecting the alleged Boston bomber to the murders? Do they truly know who committed the triple murders? In the absence of solid information, conspiracy theories sprang up. Some people started to believe the FBI was hiding something.”
It will remain to be seen whether clearing the agent of charges will silence the conspiracy theories or just give them more fuel to grow.
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