May 22, 2013 / by emptywheel


A Not-A-Drone-Strike Near Disney World

The FBI has been tracking a Chechen martial arts practitioner in FL, Ibragim Todashev, since the Boston Marathon attack. The guy knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Boston and reportedly had a phone conversation with him “more than a month ago” (which still would put it shortly before the attack). Todashev — who got in a serious fight in a parking lot earlier this month — had recently booked a flight to NY, with plans to travel on to Chechnya.

So, after having interviewed him yesterday, the FBI decided to interview him again around midnight last night.

It didn’t end well.

The FBI said Ibragim Todashev was shot and killed just after midnight at 6022 Peregrine Avenue in the Windhover Apartments near Universal Orlando.

“The agent encountered the suspect while conducting official duties. The suspect is deceased,” FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier told Local 6.

John Miller, the former FBI assistant director who now works for CBS News, said the FBI was trying to re-question Todashev at his apartment when “something went wrong.”  Miller said the FBI agent fired shots, but details of the incident have not yet been released and it’s not known if Todashev had a gun.

This will bear watching.

Here’s the FBI’s complete statement on the killing.

The FBI is currently reviewing a shooting incident involving an FBI special agent. Based on preliminary information, the incident occurred in Orlando, Florida during the early morning hours of May 22, 2013. The agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers, and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing an individual in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual. During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening injuries. As this incident is under review, we have no further details at this time. [my emphasis]

You’d think a crack investigative agency like the FBI would know how many and what kind of other law enforcement personnel were present.

Oh, what’s that? You mean they’re not telling us on purpose?

Update: Apparently Todashev confessed to playing a role in the triple murder in Waltham in 2011 authorities suspect Tamerlan was involved in.

Todashev, they say, had spent some time in the Boston area, where he was a mixed martial arts fighter, and knew Tsarnaev there.  Investigators say he confessed to the agent in Florida that he played a role in a triple murder in 2011 in which three men were discovered slain in an apartment in Waltham, Mass.

Their throats had been cut, and their bodies were covered with marijuana. No suspects had been arrested in that case.

Officials say FBI agents were questioning Todashev on Tuesday. He was cooperative at first, they say, but later that night, he attacked the agent with a knife, who shot and killed him. Officials say Todashev became violent as he was about to sign a written statement based on his confession.

Chances are great that the FBI didn’t tape this claimed confession.

Update: As I suspected, at the time of the assault earlier this month, Todashev was being actively followed, presumably by the FBI.

According to discovery in that case, deputies knew immediately that Todashev was either a cage or jui juitsu fighter and knew “how dangerous these men can be,” a report said.

“I told this subject if he tried to fight us I would shoot him,” one deputy wrote in a report.

The report said that Todashev told deputies he believed he was being followed by federal agents.

He told deputies that three vehicles with tinted windows that were behind him when he was stopped were FBI vehicles. All three cars left the scene before deputies could confirm that they the drivers were federal agents, according to the report.

“I noticed one vehicle was driven by a male, had a computer stand and appeared to be talking on a radio,” the deputy said in the report.

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