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The death of a reported acquaintance of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is raising more conspiracy theories that an FBI cover-up may be at play. A team of agents and Massachusetts police officers questioned Ibragim Todashev last week, which somehow ended in his death, but how that happened is a story that continues to change

The foggy recount and various reports are causing confusion, stories of Todashev’s death range from him having a weapon to being unarmed.

As reported in the Washington Post:

One of the agents left the interview with minor injuries. Mr. Todashev was carted out with, apparently, several bullet holes in his body. We say “apparently” because journalists have gotten a tangle of conflicting reports from law enforcement sources about what happened, many of which look bad for the FBI.

As best we can make out, Mr. Todashev had confessed to participating with Mr. Tsarnaev, a fellow Chechen, in a 2011 triple murder. He then apparently did something to provoke an FBI agent in the room, and the agent shot him. An early account — all have been provided anonymously — indicated that Mr. Todashev had a knife. On Wednesday, though, it emerged that he was unarmed. Many reports agree that he overturned a table. Some suggest that Mr. Todashev might have been lunging for the agent’s gun, or — weirdly — a samurai sword in the room. The Post reported that the agent may have been alone with Mr. Todashev at the time of the scuffle.

From Moscow, Mr. Todashev’s father is alleging that the FBI executed his son. With the eyes of the world once again on the United States’ response to an act of terrorism and its treatment of foreign nationals, the last thing the U.S. government needs to do is fuel wild conspiracy theories by releasing too little information or investigating too slowly. The Obama administration must move heaven and earth to get to the bottom of what happened and make it public — quickly.


Todashev’s father, Abdul-Baki Todashev, says his son took six shots, one of which was in the back of the head. “I’d only seen and heard things like that in the movies – they shoot somebody and then a shot in the head to make sure,” he said. “These just aren’t FBI agents – they’re bandits.”

The family is expected to file for a federal inquiry into the death today (May 31).

Photo:  Orange County (Fla.) Corrections Department