Did Boston Bombing Suspect Kill Before?

Todashev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (courtesy of CNN)

Early Wednesday, FBI agents and Massachusetts State Police officers met with Ibragim Todashev in the kitchen of his Orlando, Florida home. Their objective was to question him about his relationship with Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev—the men responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing last month—in an effort to determine whether or not he was involved in that horrific attack.

Like the Tsarnaev brothers, Todashev was a Chechen who was granted political asylum in the United States, his coming in 2008. He met the brothers several years ago in Boston—which has a tight-knit community of Chechens—and was a member of the same mixed martial arts forum as Tamerlan: Sherdog.com. Todashev even had Tamerlan’s number in his cell phone and, according to his friend Khasuen Taramov, had spoken with the soon-to-be terrorist just one month before the bombing.

Supposedly, though, he had no knowledge of what was to come. Not that I believe that for a second, especially given what happened later in Todashev’s interview.

At first, the conversation between the new suspect and law enforcement officials seemed to be going well. Todashev was forthright with information and even confessed to being involved in an as-yet-unsolved triple homicide in Waltham, Massachusetts two years ago. Of course, he also claimed to have had help in the brutal crime from—you guessed it—Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Terror at the Boston Marathon (courtesy of David L Ryan/AP)

From what I understand, Tamerlan and Todashev were involved in some drug deal that went horribly wrong. By the time it was all over, they had murdered three people—slitting their throats from ear-to-ear and pulling their heads back—sprinkled marijuana over their bodies as some kind of “symbolic gesture” and fled before authorities could discover their identities. Some have even claimed one of the victims was a former sparring partner of Tamerlan’s.

For years—and until the revelations of earlier this week—the Chechen killers escaped prosecution and weren’t even suspected in the unsolved crime. That obviously changed on Wednesday.

After delivering his confession to authorities—and knowing full well he would face criminal charges as a result—Todashev suddenly grabbed a knife and lunged at the officers. An FBI agent who was present had no choice but to shoot his attacker, killing him instantly and bringing the interview to a rather abrupt end.

What happens next remains to be seen, but I get the feeling this latest development is only the tip of the iceberg. Investigators are still trying to determine how involved Tamerlan Tsarnaev—and now Ibragim Todashev—were in Chechen extremist groups, especially those that engaged Russian forces in 2012 when both men were in the region. And I’m sure one clue will lead to another until an entire network of Islamist extremists is revealed.

I just hope that I’m wrong.

Posted on May 24, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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