Boston bombing suspect unarmed when killed by FBI


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Ibragim Todashev, who was killed during an FBI interview last week, was unarmed when he was fatally shot, according to law enforcement officials. Civil rights activists are now calling for independent investigation of the death.

Todashev, who knew Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had neither gun nor knife when he was shot by the FBI, two law enforcement officials, who did not disclose their names, told the Washington Post on Wednesday.

Before that, investigators offered conflicting accounts of what happened in Todashev’s final minutes. One federal agent claimed Todashev was shot after trying to grab an agent’s sidearm. A second agent claimed Todashev brandished a knife. A Bureau statement issued on the day of the incident said only that an “individual” being interviewed was killed when a “violent confrontation was initiated by the individual.”

Investigators now say that the matter will be the subject of a probe that is expected to last for several months.

“The FBI takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents and as such we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said in a statement Wednesday.

“The review process is thorough and objective and conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.”

Meanwhile a Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil rights group, thinks that the efforts by the FBI itself are not enough. The organization is calling on the Department of Justice to step in and review the circumstances under which Todashev was shot.

“Our call for an independent investigation of this disturbing incident is not just about the victim and his family, but is also about constitutional rights and the rule of law,” said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly.

Todashev associated with Tamerlan Tsarnaev within mixed martial arts and boxing circles in the Boston area before he moved from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Orlando, Florida. FBI officials maintained he was never a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Law enforcement officials, speaking anonymously, claimed Todashev implicated himself and Tsarnaev in connection with a triple murder in Waltham, Massachusetts, on September 11, 2011. On September 12, police found three dead men in a well-kept rental home. Their throats had reportedly been slit and their bodies covered in marijuana.

The spokeswoman for Middlesex County’s district attorney’s office only told the Post that the investigation was ongoing, refusing to speculate as to whether Todashev or Tsarnaev were suspects. Sources close to the investigation said Todashev was friends with one of the victims.

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New Boston Marathon Suspect Killed By Police In Florida


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Fox news reported A former mixed martial arts fighter who was fatally shot by an FBI agent in Florida following a “violent confrontation” knew one of the Boston Marathon bombers and was being questioned about an unsolved triple homicide that may be linked to him, according to reports.
Ibragim Todashev, who was shot and killed early Wednesday during a shooting at an apartment complex near Universal Studios in Orlando, knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers behind the April 15 bombing attack. Todashev was shot while being questioned about an unsolved 2011 triple homicide in Waltham, Mass., in which one victim was a onetime associate of Tsarnaev, two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation and the FBI told the Boston Globe.

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Tsarnaev’s widow under new scrutiny as investigators find radical Islamist material on her computer

Investigators are ramping up their focus on Katherine Russell, the widow of Boston Marathon bombing suspect and alleged planner Tamerlan Tsarnaev after an inspection of her computer turned up radical Islamist material, law enforcement sources said.

With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, alive and in custody, police are trying to determine what involvement, if any, Russell had in the plot to plant bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15. Russell’s attorney, Amato DeLuca, released a statement earlier this week saying his client was willing to provide “as much assistance to the investigation as she can.”

The younger Tsarnaev brother told law enforcement that he and his brother were partly influenced to carry out the attack by the online sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Al-Qaeda speaker who was killed by a US drone strike two years ago. Dzhokhar also said that the brothers learned to make explosives by reading Inspire magazine, an English-language periodical published by Al-Qaeda.

Police sources speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation said that at least a portion of the radical Islamist material was found on Russell’s computer, although they are trying to determine who exactly accessed the information.

DeLuca has maintained that Russell, 24, had no involvement in the plot. She previously provided a DNA sample after law enforcement officials found female DNA on a component of one of the exploded bombs found in downtown Boston. However, Russell’s DNA was not found on the explosive device.
Federal investigators told The New York Times that they doubt Russell’s innocence, whether in planning the attack or evading police in the aftermath. Russell allegedly called her husband when the FBI released his photograph to the public but did not contact the police. She has reportedly stopped cooperating with authorities.

Russell is known to have worked as many as 80 hours every week as a nurse’s aide while Tamerlan, who was unemployed but sometimes worked as a mechanic, cared for the couple’s child. When he was not taking care of the child, it’s been speculated, Tsarnaev experimented with making bombs using household materials. The police “increasingly believe” the brothers assembled the bombs in their home just five miles from where they detonated them, Reuters reported.

FBI agents spent about 90 minutes Monday looking for evidence at Russell’s parents’ home, where she’s been staying since the attack. The FBI refused to comment on whether they found evidence there. However, it is known that they came up empty-handed Friday after searching four locations near the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, where the brothers were thought to have practiced detonations.

Russell was raised in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, where her parents still reside, and met Tamerlan Tsarnaev at Suffolk University. She converted to Islam and married him in 2010. DeLuca claimed Russell does not speak Russian so, often, she could not understand what he was saying when speaking with friends.

The widow has not spoken to the press, but her attorney said earlier this week that Russell had refused to claim Tamerlan’s body, instead opting to let his relatives take the corpse. Rusland Tsarni, Tsarnaev’s uncle, the same who called the brothers “losers” during a media scrum, said Tuesday that he would claim the remains.

“Of course, family members will take possession of the body,” he told the Associated Press. “We will do it. A family is a family.”


Three new suspects taken into custody in Boston Marathon bombing case


Three new suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing case have been taken into custody, the city’s police department announced Wednesday morning.

From their official Twitter account, the Boston Police Department confirmed just after 11 a.m. local time that three suspects have been detained by authorities in regards to the terrorist attack earlier this month.

According to a police source speaking anonymously with the Boston Globe, the latest suspects are college students who attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old accused bomber who could face the death penalty if convinced for his alleged role in the bombing.

Right after the Boston bombings, two of Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s college friends, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev — both from Kazakhstan — were arrested by immigration authorities. According to Reuters, now they will face federal charges.

A source speaking to NBC claimed that the suspects were roommates of Tsarnaev at UMass-Dartmouth, and local ABC affiliate WCVB-TV said they are alleged to have helped Tsarnaev and his brother remove objects from a campus dormitory after the terrorist attack.

Citing a lawyer who was brief on the case early Wednesday, WCVB said the latest details in the Boston Marathon bombing case involves the three suspects “disposing of a backpack full of fireworks that was in Tsarnaev’s dorm room, done at the request of Tsarnaev sometime after the bombing.”

WCVB added that the students have been questioned in the past over alleged immigration violations, and NBC has identified the suspects as natives of Kazakhstan. According to some outlets, two of the three suspects were in custody at the time the police confirmed their possible role in the bombing on Wednesday, although law enforcement has yet to officially confirm any details other than three men have been detained.

A police source speaking to the Globe said authorities believe two of the suspects may have helped the accused bomber after the April 15 terrorist attack and are expected to be charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements.

A detailed police statement is still forthcoming, but before 12 noon on Wednesday the department tweeted that there is no threat to public safety at this time in regards to the attack. NBC News reports that the three suspects are all in federal custody.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick weighed in midday Wednesday to say the three suspects would be arraigned in Boston later in the afternoon.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended by police days after the attack and has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is also believed to have detonated improvised explosives at the Boston Marathon earlier this month but died days later after engaging in a gun fight with police. Three people and more than 260 were injured during the April 15 tragedy.

Details in the story are still developing.

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