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Boston suspect's friend 'unarmed' when shot

30 May 2013, 12:08

Washington - A Chechen man shot dead by the FBI during questioning on his links to the Boston Marathon bombers was unarmed, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Ibragim Todashev, aged 27, was shot by the FBI in Orlando, Florida a week ago after he allegedly stabbed an agent during questioning on his possible involvement with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a triple homicide that took place before the Boston attacks.

The domestic intelligence agency did not name Todashev at the time.

A law enforcement official told the Post, however, that Todashev had lunged at the FBI agent and overturned the table, but had neither a gun nor a knife.

The shooting came after hours of questioning by law enforcement officials that began the night before.

Investigators told US media that Tsarnaev and Todashev were believed to have murdered three people in a Boston suburb two years ago whose bodies were found nearly decapitated and covered with marijuana and thousands of dollars in cash.

Scant details

After the shooting, Todashev's father Abdulbaki Todashev questioned the FBI's account of the incident in which his son was said to have attacked bureau personnel with a knife.

Law enforcement officials were also quoted as suggesting that Todashev tried to grab the FBI agent's gun.

Scant more details have emerged about the incident, with the FBI saying it is under review by the agency.

"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 spokesperson Paul Bresson said in a statement.

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

He said FBI and Justice Department officials were involved in the probe.

Call for independent investigation

The Florida chapter of a top US Muslim group called earlier for an "independent investigation" by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

"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 Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations division in Tampa.

Todashev was reported to be a friend of Tsarnaev, whom he knew through their shared hobby of mixed martial-arts fighting.

Tsarnaev, aged 26, and his brother Dzhokhar, aged 19, were the alleged perpetrators of the 15 April Boston bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260 near the finish line of the race.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police. His brother was captured after an exhaustive manhunt and is in custody.

- Reuters


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