FBI agent cleared in shooting of Todashev

The FBI agent who shot and killed a Chechen man in Florida in the weeks after the Boston Marathon bombing is expected to be cleared of wrongdoing.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  March 21, 2014 at 4:14 PM
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A Florida prosecutor cleared of wrongdoing the FBI agent who shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen man connected to the brothers accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing.

The agent, who has not been identified, was interviewing Todashev, 27, in his Orlando apartment in May, when he says Todashev came at him with a metal pole and left him with a head wound that required stitches. The FBI has defended the agent's actions, saying he acted in self-defense in shooting Todashev, a mixed martial arts fighter.

Jeffrey Ashton, the Florida state prosecutor who ran the investigation into the shooting, is expected to release his findings Tuesday. Officials close to the investigation say the review concluded the FBI agent acted in self-defense.

In its own review, the FBI also cleared the agent of wrongdoing, but has not released its findings as they are still being examined by the Justice Department's civil rights division, which is expected to concur with the FBI.

Todashev's family and the Council for American-Islamic Relations pushed for Ashton's independent investigation into the shooting on the basis that the FBI's internal investigations rarely find their agents at fault.

“Obviously we have a lot of concerns about this, a lot of concerns,” said Hassan Shibly, executive director of the CAIR's Florida chapter. “We’re eagerly waiting to see the full report. We weren’t expecting any of this to come out today.”

The FBI interviewed Todashev over his friendship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of the suspected marathon bombers, who was killed in the manhunt that followed the bombing. Officials say Todashev admitted to the two of them participating in an unsolved triple homicide in Waltham, Mass., in 2011.

Many of Todashev's friends say they have been arrested, deported, or barred from entering the U.S. in the months since the shooting.

“The FBI did a great job of making sure that all of his closest friends were out of the country before they released this,” Shibly said.

[Washington Post] [Boston Globe]

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