The father of a Chechen immigrant killed in Florida while being interrogated by the FBI about his ties to a Boston Marathon bombings suspect said Thursday that the U.S. agents killed his son “execution-style.”
At news conference in Moscow, Abdul-Baki Todashev showed journalists 16 photographs that he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue. He said his son had six gunshot wounds to his torso and one to the back of his head and the pictures were taken by his son’s friend, Khusen Taramov.
The FBI says 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter Ibragim Todashev was killed last week during a violent confrontation in his Orlando home while an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers questioned him about his ties to slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as well as about a 2011 triple slaying in Massachusetts.
Greg Comcowich, a spokesman for the Boston FBI, declined to comment Thursday on the elder Todashev’s claim that his son was unarmed.
CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reported that, according to law enforcement sources, Todashev and Tsarnaev once trained together at a Boston-area gym. But evidence also suggested a criminal connection, involvement in a grisly triple murder that occurred in September 2011, in Waltham, Mass.
Three men, including one who trained at the same gym, were found with their throats cut, their bodies covered with marijuana and thousands of dollars in cash. No one has been charged.
But sources told Orr that, during questioning on the night of April 21, Todashev implicated himself and Tsarnaev in the killings. As investigators pushed Todashev toward a confession, he snapped.
Law enforcement officials said the 27-year-old mixed-martial-arts fighter made a move that threatened the investigators. The FBI agent, who suffered cuts in the altercation, shot and killed Todashev.
On Thursday, Abdul-Baki Todashev said the photos were emailed to him by Taramov, who apparently was at the morgue to identify the body. The father said Taramov was part of the Muslim community holding the body for the family until they could retrieve it.
The father said Taramov told him that U.S. agents interrogated him on the street while five officials interrogated Todashev in his Florida house for eight hours on May 22, the night he was shot. He said his son was “100 percent unarmed.”
Todashev’s father said his son moved to the U.S. in 2008 on a study exchange program and met Tsarnaev at a boxing gym in Boston in 2011, about a year before he moved to Orlando. He said the two were “not particularly close friends.”
Prior to last month’s bombings, Todashev underwent an operation for a sports injury and was on crutches, making it physically impossible for him to have been involved in the bombings, his father said. He added that Todashev had recently received a green card and was planning to return to Chechnya for the summer last Friday, two days after he was killed.
The father said he and his brother were interviewed at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow on Thursday as they sought a visa to take his son’s body back to Chechnya.
FBI agents interrogated the younger Todashev twice before the night he was shot, his father said. Todashev told him that he thought Tsarnaev had been set up to take blame for the bombings.
“I’d only seen and heard things like that in the movies — they shoot somebody and then a shot in the head to make sure,” Todashev said.
“These just aren’t FBI agents, they’re bandits,” he added.