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Todashev’s Father – Son Killed by FBI Was ‘Innocent, Wanted to Live’

© RIA Novosti . Alexander NatruskinAbdulbaki Todashev, Ibraghim's father, holds up photos of his dead son at a press conference at the RIA Novosti headquarters in Moscow on May 30.
Abdulbaki Todashev, Ibraghim's father, holds up photos of his dead son at a press conference at the RIA Novosti headquarters in Moscow on May 30. - Sputnik International
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The father of a Chechen immigrant who was shot and killed in May by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent investigating the Boston Marathon bombing said Tuesday his son had done nothing wrong.

WASHINGTON, August 13 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) – The father of a Chechen immigrant who was shot and killed in May by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent investigating the Boston Marathon bombing said Tuesday his son had done nothing wrong.

“My son was a very good boy. He is innocent. He was simply killed,” said Abdulbaki Todashev, speaking through an interpreter at a news conference in Tampa, Florida.

He was “a good friend, a good brother. We all loved him very much and he loved us back,” he added.

Ibragim Todashev, 27, was shot while being questioned by the FBI and Massachusetts State Police at his home in Orlando on May 22.

The FBI was looking into an unsolved 2011 triple murder in the Boston area and Todashev’s relationship to suspected marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed during a shootout with police April 19, four days after the deadly blasts.

Both men were from the former Soviet Union and had family ties in the volatile southern Russian republic of Chechnya. Todashev had lived in Boston and trained in competitive martial arts at the same gym Tsarnaev used, said attorneys for the father.

During the news conference organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the attorneys said Abdulbaki Todashev was “reserving the right to file a wrongful death suit” against the FBI, pending the outcome of an independent investigation.

“We believe the people in this country, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity and immigrant status deserve to be treated fairly by our government and law enforcement, and we believe Mr. Todashev, as any father would, deserves a thorough explanation as to what happened to his son,” said attorney Eric Ludin.

CAIR filed a formal complaint with the US Department of Justice in June in connection with the case, while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) last month called on Florida and Massachusetts to open their own investigations into the deadly shooting.

In addition to an internal FBI investigation into the death, Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton announced in a statement last week that his office would conduct a “review of the circumstances surrounding the use of deadly force in this case.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to know Mr. Ashton is leading a state investigation. We have every reason to be confident that it will be a thorough investigation and that if the facts show improper conduct, Mr. Ashton will hold law enforcement accountable,” Ludin added.

The elder Todashev plans to meet with Ashton before he returns home to Chechnya.

Ludin said so far they have not been able to review the medical examiner’s report about Ibragim Todashev’s death, or other documents related to the investigation. He also said their own investigation indicates Todashev was unarmed, was shot multiple times and was recovering from knee surgery at the time of his death.

Last month the FBI blocked the local Medical Examiner’s Office from releasing the autopsy report.

“His life was cut short. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was simply not capable of doing it,” said the elder Todashev. “He was a very good boy. And he wanted to live.”

Abdulbaki Todashev also said his son was shot just two days before his scheduled return to Russia, making his first trip back home in many years after coming to the United States in 2008.

Phone calls by RIA Novosti to the Boston and Tampa offices of the FBI were referred to agency headquarters in Washington, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

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