- Ibragim Todashev, 27, was shot dead by an FBI agent Wednesday after he reportedly turned violent during questioning
- He had allegedly confessed to the FBI that he had played a role in a triple slaying in the Boston area in 2011
- His father says he sent his son to the U.S. to escape war-torn Chechnya and that he had bonded with Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev
- Son planned to visit Chechnya this week but FBI made him delay trip
- Todashev’s estranged wife denied husband’s involvement in 2011 murders, but noted that he did travel back to Boston in the summer of that year
PUBLISHED: 08:47 EST, 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:45 EST, 23 May 2013
Deceased: Ibragim Todashev was fatally shot by an FBI agent just after midnight on Wednesday
The father of a Chechen immigrant shot dead by U.S. law enforcement agents while being questioned about his ties to a Boston Marathon bombings suspect said Thursday that he regrets allowing his son to go to the United States.
Ibragim Todashev, 27, was a mixed martial arts fighter who had trained with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Boston, and his father said they had bonded because of their shared interests and heritage as Chechens from southern Russia. Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police days after the April 15 terrorist attack.
Todashev was killed Wednesday after an altercation with an FBI agent during a meeting with the agent and two Massachusetts state troopers at his home in central Florida. Law enforcement officers say that during the meeting, he had implicated himself in a unsolved 2011 triple slaying.
Todashev’s father, Abdul-Baki Todashev, said he was worried that with his son was dead, the FBI could now pin any crime on him.
‘Out of fear of the lawlessness in Chechnya, I sent him to the U.S., because it seemed like the safest country at the time,’ the distraught father told the Associated Press. ‘Now I’m thinking about how to bring home his body. As it turns out I sent him to his death.’
He said his son, who has a previous arrest for aggravated battery after he left a man unconscious following a fight over a park spot, is ‘not capable’ of killing anyone.
‘There is a clear picture emerging that this is all fabricated,’ Todashev told the Boston Globe. ‘They killed my son and then they made up a reason to explain it.’
Friends and family members of the 2011 murder victims reacted to news of Todashev’s alleged confession on social media.
On a Facebook memorial for victim Raphael Teken, the moderator of the page wrote, ‘Whether we ever know exactly what happened, there is one thing we surely know and that is that Rafi deserved a much better fate.
Confession: Todashev had allegedly admitted to being involved in a 2011 slaying and that he was preparing to sign a written statement based on his confession when he turned violent and was subsequently shot dead
The FBI had questioned Todashev in the past regarding his ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev (right). Tsarnaev’s younger brother, Dzhokhar, (left), has been charged in connection with the bombings
Investigation: An FBI evidence response team enters an apartment after an FBI agent shot and killed a man who was questioned in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings
VIDEO COURTESY OF RUSSIA TODAY.
‘He was funny, kind, joyful and generous,’ the message continued. ‘All of us that knew him knew [his death] couldn’t have been about anything he did, but are now horrified by what it may have been about.’
Facebook user Tony Porter wrote, ‘I’m disappointed that we will never really get to experience true justice for our friend or know the reasons for what happened despite the fact that both alleged suspects are now deceased.
‘I don’t know how you are supposed to feel when your friend’s killer gets killed, but I don’t feel “relieved” like I thought I would.’
Moderators of a Facebook memorial for victim Erik Weissman wrote, ‘Hoping for some closure’ and posted a photo of him with the caption, ‘Forever young, forever beautiful, forever in our hearts.’
A friend who said he went to high school with Weissman commented, ‘That playful grin is the Erik that will live on in my memory… Let’s hope [this] represents at least a small step towards some kind of “closure” – if that even exits – for his nearest and dearest.’
Todashev’s estranged wife, Reniya Manukyan, denied her husband’s alleged involvement in the 2011 triple slayings, but she noted that he did travel back to Boston in the summer of that year.
He ‘had nothing to hide,’ she told ABC News. ‘He wasn’t involved. So he was not even nervous [to talk with the FBI].’
Manukyan and her husband separated in November. She said they lived in Atlanta before moving to Orlando in late 2011.
She also said that agents had questioned her several times and even stopped her at the airport when she returned from a trip to Chechnya several weeks after the Boston bombings.
Ibragim Todashev is pictured in 2009 with injuries from boxing at the Massachusetts gym where Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev trained
Abdul-Baki Todashev said his son – the second of 12 children – was at university when he got an opportunity to go to the United States to study English about five or six years ago. He said he later agreed to his son’s request to remain in the U.S. ‘because it seemed like the safest country.’
Chechnya has been ravaged by two wars between separatist fighters and Russian federal troops since 1994, and remains troubled by periodic outbreaks of violence. The family’s red-brick house on the outskirts of Grozny, the Chechen capital, still bears the marks of shrapnel.
The elder Todashev said his son gave up martial arts because of an injury and later held a number of jobs, including as a driver at a retirement home, before moving to Florida within the last year. His father said his son had planned to come to Chechnya this week to visit his extended family, but was asked by the FBI to delay his trip.
Abdul-Baki Todashev said he had learned of his son’s death from a phone call from one of his son’s friends, who also had been questioned by the FBI. He said the friend, whom he didn’t name, told him that both of them had been pressured to confess to the murders, but that they were innocent.
Victim: Brendan Mess was one of three victims in a triple slaying that Todashev allegedly confessed to
The FBI gave no details on why it was interested in Ibragim Todashev except to say that he was being questioned as part of the Boston investigation. However, two officials briefed on the investigation said he had implicated himself as having been involved in a 2011 triple-slaying in a Boston suburb; investigators now suspect that Tsarnaev may have been involved in the unsolved crime.
Law enforcement officials believe, partly based on Todashev’s alleged confession, that Todashev and Tsarnaev carried out the 2011 killings after a drug deal turned violent. The suspects didn’t want the three victims to be able to identify them, so they slit their throats, sources told NBC.
Authorities had gone to Todashev’s home late Tuesday with evidence suggesting that Todashev, 26-year-old Tsarnaev, and Tsarnaev’s younger brother, Dzhokhar, were involved in the 2011 killings, according to reports.
No suspects had been arrested in that case, in which three men were found in an apartment in Waltham, Mass. on the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks with their throats cut and marijuana covering their bodies.
Massachusetts investigators had reported earlier this month that they were uncovering ‘mounting evidence’ that Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, were involved in the slaying. One of the victims, Brendan Mess, was a close friend of Tamerlan’s.
Authorities said they have no reason to believe that Todashev had any involvement in the marathon bombings.
The FBI has been investigating Todashev for the last month, questioning him several times regarding his ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police in a shootout following the deadly April 15 marathon bombings. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged in connection with the bombings and is being held at a prison medical center outside Boston.
Murdered: Raphael Teken (left with a friend) and Erik Weissman (right) were also killed in the 2011 triple slaying
Khusen Taramov, a friend of Todashev’s, confirmed that Todashev and Tsarnaev knew each other. He said they had been in contact via phone or Skype about a week before the bombings.
In an interview with Orlando television station WESH, Taramov said that the two met while Todashev was living in Boston because they were both involved in mixed martial arts and boxing.
Todashev ‘wasn’t like real close friends [with Tsarnaev], but he just happened to know him,’ Taramov said. ‘But he had no idea that they were up to something like that, like bombings and everything, you know what I mean?’
Taramov says the FBI has been following him and Todashev since the bombings. He said that they were both being interviewed by agents late Tuesday before Todashev was killed.
Todashev was arrested in an unrelated incident on May 4 for aggravated battery after he left a man unconscious in the parking lot of a shopping mall.
According to the arrest affidavit, Todashev had gotten into an altercation with a man and his son over parking space.
Todashev told police that the man ‘got into his face’ so he pushed him and then the man’s son ‘got involved’ and Todashev began fighting him.
Todashev met Tsarnaev while he was living in Boston because they were both involved in mixed martial arts and boxing
‘Todashev said he was only fighting to protect his knee because he had surgery in March,’ the affidavit states.
A mall security officer arrived on scene to find the son unconscious and lying in a pool of blood on the ground just as Todashev was pulling away in a white Mercedes.
The officer chased down the Mercedes, ordered Todashev out at gunpoint and arrested him.
The son was later treated at a hospital with a split upper lip, several teeth knocked out and head injuries.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329629/Ibragim-Todashev-I-sent-death-Father-Chechen-immigrant-shot-dead-FBI-regrets-sending-U-S-fears-blamed-crimes-didnt-commit.html#ixzz2U9E2Xg70 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
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