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article imageWhat did Todashev, shot by FBI, know about the Boston bombing?

By Ralph Lopez     Apr 4, 2014 in World
Now that it has emerged that the friend of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot three times in the back, and once in the top of the head, as he allegedly attacked an FBI agent and a Massachusetts state trooper, rampant speculation may begin.
The story put forth by the FBI on how Ibragim Todashev wound up dead in Florida is so wildly improbable as to be laughable.
On one hand, the direct testimony from the FBI agent who did the shooting, taken from the Florida State's Attorney Report, is as follows:
“In order to stop this threat, I shot Todashev three to four times. Todashev fell backwards, but did not go to the ground. He then re-established his footing and suddenly lunged toward us. I shot him three or four more times in order to stop his continuing deadly threat. This time Todashev fell to the ground face first and I believed the threat had been eliminated.”
The state's attorney found that a total of seven shots had been fired: three to the back, two to the left arm, one to the left side of the chest, and one to the top of the head. Two of the back shots are square in the back, near the spine, at chest level, with the third at waist level to the right-hand side. (Photographs of Todashev Wounds, Released by Family)
How Todashev winds up with three entry wounds to the back is a question which cannot be answered by the agent's own scenario. Moreover, the shot to the top of the head means either it was the last shot fired, as it would have immediately dropped Todashev, likely stone cold dead, or other shots would have been fired at Todashev's lifeless body.
A man cannot keep coming at you with the kind of wound Todashev sustained to the head. It was a game-ender, made by a .40 round from the agent's Glock, which is a serious and devastating round. According to the report, the bullet "entered the top of the head, passed through the brain and the base of the skull."
Dave Lindorff, writing for Counterpunch, does an admirable job of showing other glaring inconsistencies in the testimonies of the two law enforcement officers who were present: the Massachusetts state trooper, and the FBI shooter himself. Lindorff circles back to the one irreconcilable question which the Florida report raises: How does Todashev come to be shot three times in the back?
Lindorff writes:
"Meanwhile...[the agent] Todashev...was shot as he ran at the agent and staggered backwards, clearly indicating that he had been hit from the front. Again we had three shots, so it had to be the chest and the left arm. Now he “rights himself” and charges forward again, taking four more shots. But these, remember, are all either into the back, near the centerline of the body, or into the top of the head. The head shot couldn’t have been number one in the second volley, because that would have been the shot that dropped him. So what would have caused his body to turn around exposing his back?"
Call it the case of the vaunted "somersault attack": you throw yourself at your opponent, back first. The back is exposed long enough for not one, not two, but for three shots to be delivered. Then another shot manages to hit him on the top of the head.
Autopsy photo released by Todashev family  of three entrance wounds to back.
Autopsy photo released by Todashev family, of three entrance wounds to back.
Furthermore, the Todashev family's private investigator, upon first viewing the scene, said immediately that the lack of blood splatters on the walls, except some at floor level, indicated that Todashev had been shot as he lay on the ground. Ed Busquet, a former captain and homicide detective in the North Palm Police Department, reportedly said “Look at this – no blood spattered on the walls. He was shot while down on the floor.”
If speculation now abounds, it is entirely the FBI's own doing, for attempting to sell the public a story that a fifth-grader could pick apart.
Photo of spot near front door of apartment where Todashev fell.
Photo of spot near front door of apartment where Todashev fell.
Todashev Family
Blood stains at the exit point from the room where Todashev was interrogated.
Blood stains at the exit point from the room where Todashev was interrogated.
Todashev Family
Busquet's observation recalls a long-ago case, in the FBI's unbroken string of 150 exonerations out of 150 agent shootings over the last 18 years, when a mob hit man was shot in the back while laying handcuffed, face down, on the ground. The discharge of the agent's weapon was ruled "accidental," although the suspect, who survived, subsequently won a civil lawsuit over the incident.
Suffice it to say that, unless the FBI comes up with a far better story, it is now highly likely, if not near certain, that Todashev was "executed" as his father first claimed. The burning question now is: why?
If Todashev knew something, what could it have been, which would be consistent with what we know about his relationship to Tsarnaev, and which would drive the FBI to the certain public relations headache of silencing him? According to Todashev's friend Khusen Taramov, who accompanied Todashev to his last interview by the FBI, Todashev had a ticket to Chechnya which was purchased before the Boston bombing. But the FBI, in the person of an agent known only as "Chris," pressed him to cancel it and stay for one more interview.
What we know about Todashev's relationship with the Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was that it lay somewhere between acquaintance and friendship. Todashev's wife, Reni Manukyan, maintains that the two were never closer than two Chechens who worked out at the same gym, shared an interest in mixed martial arts, were nominally Muslim, and lived in the same Inman Square neighborhood in Cambridge.
“They were never close friends,” Manukyan once said, “They attended the same gym.”
But Todashev's live-in girlfriend in Florida, who moved in after he and his wife were separated, suggests a closer relationship. Tatiana Gruzdeva said Tamerlan and Todashev occasionally "hung out" and went clubbing together, not many times, but at least once or twice. Tsarnaev called Todashev after his knee surgery in March of 2013 to ask how he was doing, according to Gruzdeva. She told Boston Magazine:
“He asked how he feels after surgery and Ibragim [Todashev] tells him, ‘I’m better, what about you? How is your family?’ So they would talk just a little bit and that’s it,”
But after the Boston bombings and Tamerlan's death, Gruzdeva recalled that Todashev seemed upset. She told Boston Magazine:
“He didn’t tell me it was his friend, he just was so sad. I said, ‘What happen with you?’ He said, ‘Nothing.’ Long time he don’t want to tell me. And after, he tell me, ‘My friend is dead.’”
The media made much of Tsarnaev being a loner and not having any "American friends," although other reports indicate that he was friendly and easy-going before 2009, and occasionally "partied." What might a relative loner share with a countryman who shares the same religion and experience of being a Muslim in America in the era of the War on Terror?
It may be useful to back up. For a time after the bombing, the biggest problem the FBI had was the revelation, leaked by two separate, anonymous law enforcement officials, that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had already been on the FBI's radar screen by the time he allegedly struck. The FBI had been forced to backpedal from denying it ever knew anything about Tsarnaev, to posting a press release at the FBI website, acknowledging that Russian intelligence had contacted the FBI multiple times in 2011 about Tamerlan, and that the FBI had investigated him and interviewed him as well.
Oh, that Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Tamerlan clowning.
Tamerlan clowning.
With egg on its face and congressmen calling for inquiries, along comes Tsarnaev's mother, Zubeidat, and tells Russia Today that:
"My son was set up. He was followed by the FBI for five years. They watched him. They used to come and talk to me. They said they were afraid of him because he was a leader."
Tsarnaev's mother said: “I am 100 percent sure this is a setup."
This perilously changed the narrative. Did the FBI have contact with the brothers or didn't it? We were being told they were "lone wolves," acting on their own. How are they lone wolves if the FBI is talking to them all along?
The FBI already has a long history of entrapment. These are complex webs of intrigue in which "patsies," wannabes, or otherwise hapless participants in some form, perhaps unwittingly, get to play a starring role. They might be told they are helping in a "drill." Little-reported in the mainstream media, these cases are now confirmed and beyond dispute. Most people don't know that in his Victim Impact Statement, Flight 253 passenger Kurt Haskell testified that he saw Umar, the "Underwear Bomber," being ushered into a secure area by security agents, who "aided Umar in boarding without a passport." Haskell told the court that "The airline gate worker initially refused Umar boarding until the man in the tan suit intervened."
Did this explode onto the front pages of US newspapers? That at least one credible person, subsequently backed up by his wife who was present, and other passengers, suggested that a terrorist bomber acted as part of a government-assisted conspiracy? Instead, Americans were subjected to new levels of privacy invasions: new TSA policies which demanded that citizens submit even to the groping of their private parts. A psychological power play, and escalation in the War on Terror, was complete.
The FBI's history of entrapment includes the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, according to NBC News and the New York Times. The subject has been explored in numerous articles, including ones published in the Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and Bloomberg News. Former Fox News anchor Ben Swann, early on, asked if the Boston Marathon bombing were another case of entrapment, in which critical parts of a plot are either known about beforehand, or supplied by the FBI itself.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev's mother was easy to discredit. First of all, it was his mother, not exactly an unbiased source. Then, old charges against the mother for shoplifting were dredged up and given prime time on American news. Who can believe someone who shoplifted? Still, perhaps in case she was thinking of visiting newspapers with more details, the FBI threatened to arrest her if she tried to enter the US.
Now let us suppose, just suppose, that someone else knew of any continuing contact with the FBI that Tamerlan and his brother might have had, thus endangering the "lone wolf" narrative. This would be after the public had already been asked to believe, incredibly, that after numerous interviews with the FBI, after high-level alerts from Russian intelligence, and after being placed on terror watch lists by the Boston Counter-Terrorism Unit itself, when the surveillance photos came out of the two Boston suspects, the FBI had no idea who they were.
This led to the FBI press conference in which the public's help was enlisted to identify the brothers, which in turn sparked the famous manhunt in which an entire city was "locked down," and residents ordered by authorities to stay inside, an unprecedented step toward the routine invocation of virtual martial law.
The entire FBI narrative takes on a sinister new hue, if, as the Tsarnaev's mother said, it was a "set up" all along. Now who might Tamerlan confide something like that too, a little FBI harassment, maybe more, of a young Muslim male?
It is obviously pure speculation that Tamerlan might mention something like that to an acquaintance, and fellow Chechen Muslim, like Todashev. What is not speculation is that such corroboration of the mother's claims, from a source at a distance, a friend-yet-not-quite-a-friend, would throw the lone wolves narrative severely off-kilter. This was one of the most horrific terror attacks in American history. No one can forget the images of ordinary people, out celebrating one of our most wholesome traditions, getting their legs blown off.
Put another way, if Todashev knew that Tamerlan had further contacts with FBI than what the FBI was letting on, corroborating the mother, he would almost have to die.
Whatever he knew, it was so important that he could not be allowed to take it to Chechnya, where the media was not as compliant to the wishes and bullying of the US government. Where Todashev could shoot his mouth off to, say, Russia Today.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not have many real friends, as friendly as he might once have been. Those who understood what it was like to be a young Muslim foreigner in America would be even fewer. The "loose ends" may have not been many. But they may have been important.
The elimination of witnesses takes on an added significance when we remember the strenuous efforts to kill Tamerlan's surviving brother, Dzhokhar, as he lay in a boat in Watertown, unarmed, when a withering barrage of gunfire managed not to kill him. And again when it was revealed that he had what appeared to be a traumatic knife wound to the throat when he entered the hospital, and was declared in critical condition, even though leaked photos showed no such traumatic wound as he emerged from the boat.
Again, pure speculation. But given that the FBI cannot be telling the truth, the speculation is entirely warranted.
Fusilade at Boat Dzhokhar Was Hiding In
Dzhokhar Emerging From Boat, No Traumatic Neck/Throat Wound
Dzhokhar emerging from boat  no traumatic neck/throat wound.
Dzhokhar emerging from boat, no traumatic neck/throat wound.
Boston Police Department
SWAT Team Chief Describing Knife Wound to Neck, Dzhokhar Now in Critical Condition
Florida report: Todashev shot 3 times in the back by FBI agent
Boston Bomber Carjacking Unravels (
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