Probe sought into FBI shooting of bombing suspect’s friend
A Muslim civil liberties group said it wants an inquest into the death of a Chechen immigrant linked to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects who was shot and killed by an FBI agent in Florida.
The FBI has said that Ibragim Todashev, 27, was being questioned May 22 at his Orlando condominium. During the questioning, Todashev reportedly attacked an agent and was shot and killed based on the “imminent threat posed by the individual.”Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Tampa, Fla.-based branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said on Wednesday his group would file a request for the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice to review Todashev’s death.
“We’re not accusing [the FBI] of anything at this point,” Shibly said. “There’s a lot of questions to be answered to make sure our law enforcement officers are abiding by the highest standards and rules as they conduct their investigations.”
Shibly said the questions his group has include whether Todashev’s rights were compromised, whether he was free to leave when he was being questioned and whether agents might have used excessive force.
The Washington Post reported that Todashev was unarmed when he was shot, according to several law enforcement officials.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined immediate comment on the group’s planned petition for review.
Last week, an independent FBI shooting incident review team from Washington began looking into the death of Todashev, which was a bizarre twist in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.
A friend of Todashev has said he had lived in Boston and knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the older of the two brothers suspected of planting two bombs at the marathon on April 15 that killed three people and injured 264.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in an April 19 shootout with police in Watertown. His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is being held at a prison hospital west of Boston awaiting trial on charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.
Media sources reported that Todashev, a mixed martial arts fighter, confessed to his involvement in the unsolved 2011 triple homicide in Waltham, fingering Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the process. The victims, including a close friend of Tsarnaev, had their throats cut in an apartment. Marijuana was strewn over their bodies.
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