WTF, FBI?

The father of Ibragim Todashev, the friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was shot and killed while being questioned by the FBI in Orlando, says his son was murdered to keep him from talking.

Todashev, who we now know was unarmed, was shot seven times, including once in the back of the head.

More Questions Than Answers in Tsarnaev Friend Shooting

 

From “The Killing of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Would-Be Accomplice Wasn’t So Simple,” Alexander Abad-Santos, The Atlantic Wire:

“Ibragim Todashev may or may not have pulled a knife on investigators in his own apartment. He may or may not have been ready to sign a confession implicating himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a 2011 triple homicide. All we know is that lethal force was used when Todashev was shot and killed early Wednesday morning,  and the only people alive to tell us the truth are the Massachusetts State Police officers and FBI agents who were in the room and pulled the trigger.

 

“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 pulled a knife on investigators, prompting them to kill one of the only men in America who have known when Tsarnaev turned for the worse. Both of those claims seem a lot less solid today….

 

 

“‘I think something went wrong there. I think they just shot him. He didn’t do anything. I know him. He just wanted everything to be over,’ one of Todashev’s roommates told NBC West Palm Beach, and his estranged wife added, ‘He wasn’t involved. So he was not even nervous [to talk with the FBI].’  Todashev’s wife could be talking about the Boston bombings [not the 2011 Waltham triple murder], but she was right about Todashev being cooperative. Todashev, according to CBS, had been talking with the FBI since two days after the Tsarnaev brothers were identified.

 

“What’s perhaps more puzzling is that the story doesn’t seem to add up: What new piece of information makes a guy who has been cooperating with FBI agents for the last month or so turn on them? Could the seizure of [his] computer have led to more revelations? Could the threat of jail time have dawned on him? And even more macabre, one of Todashev’s friends told NBC Orlando that he had been questioned with Todashev by agents on Tuesday night — and that Todashev felt like he was going to die. ‘He felt inside he was going to get shot,’ Khusn Taramiv said. ‘I told him, ‘Everything is going to be fine, don’t worry about it.’ He said, ‘I have a really bad feeling.'”

I wonder if Todashev felt he had been promised a degree of leniency that wasn’t reflected in the confession he was about to sign, that he felt the FBI had reneged on a deal he thought he had, and he became violent.

 


 

Chechen Killed in FL Connected to Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Ibragin Todashev, a Chechen who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev when he lived in Boston, has been shot and killed in Orlando, FL while being questioned by the FBI and other law enforcement.

The shooting is of course being investigated, but the FBI agent involved says he acted in self-defense when Todashev pulled a knife on him.

Todashev apparently confessed to a role in an unsolved triple murder in Waltham, MA that occurred in 2011, and also implicated Tamerlan in the murders.  One of the victims was Tamerlan’s best friend.

Todashev apparently knew Tamerlan from their common participation in martial arts.

Saudis Warned Us about Tamerlan

Saudi Arabia claims that they warned our Department of Homeland Security about Tamerlan Tsarnaev last year.  This was independent of the Russian warning, and was based on intelligence out of Yemen.

Tamerlan tried to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, but the Saudis refused to let him in their country.

Tsarnaev Carjack Victim Purposely Left Smartphone

The 26-year-old Chinese national known as “Danny,” whose Mercedes the Tsarnaev brothers hijacked, purposely left his iPhone in the car when he escaped, so that the police could use it to track the brothers.

When they stopped for gas, Dzhokhar went inside to pay, and Tamerlan put his gun aside to figure out the navigation device (maybe planning his route to New York City?), so Danny managed to escape and run to the gas station across the street to call 911.

Danny also said that when his phone rang, the brothers threatened to kill him if he spoke Chinese on the phone.

Who Put Tamerlan on Watch List?

Yesterday I read that the FBI put Tamerlan Tsarnaev on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), a list of about 700,000 names compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center.*

Today, I’m reading that the FBI didn’t put him on the list after getting the warning from Russia, but the CIA did six months later, after getting the same warning.**

All I’m really sure of at this point is that, once again, our bureaucracies are trying to make sure someone else takes the fall.

Janet Napolitano says that Tamerlan “pinged” the system when he left for Russia, but didn’t “ping” when he came back, after visiting Islamic terror havens Dagestan and Chechnya, because his time on the list had expired.  If spending seven months in those places isn’t enough to keep you active on the list until they can check what you did there, what is?

Also, the WaPo story says that given the timing of the CIA’s putting Tsarnaev on the TIDE, he might still have been on the list when he came back, so that Customs should have notified the FBI.

We’re getting lots more finger pointing than answers.

* See “Why the FBI Didn’t Catch Tamerlan Tsarnaev,” Philip Bump, The Atlantic Wire

** See “CIA  pushed to add Boston bomber to terror watch list,” Greg Miller, WaPo

Plenty of Crazy To Go Around

We’ve been learning that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a follower of the radical Australian Islamic cleric Feiz Muhammed.   Muhammed has denounced the Harry Potter books and movies for their dangerous paganism.

Does that ring a bell?  Here in the U. S., we have our Christian fundamentalists, like John Hagee and James Dobson, attacking Harry Potter in the exact same way.

Plenty of crazy to go around in both Christian and Islamic extremist circles.

Um, Tamerlan, This Didn’t Help

“It was very hard to argue with him on themes somehow connected to religion.  On the other hand he did not hate Christians.  He respected their faith.  Never said anything bad about other religions.  But he was angry that the world pictures Islam as a violent religion.”

Elmirza Khozhugov, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s former brother-in-law, in an email to the NYT.

If you’re angry that your religion is seen as violent, wouldn’t you go the Gandhi or MLK route?