- uploaded: Jun 24, 2013
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Last month, a highly disturbing incident took place in Orlando, Florida. Twenty-seven year old Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen man apparently acquainted with one of the men accused of the Boston Bombings, was killed in his home by the FBI during questioning . Since that time, the FBI has fed media outlets a steady diet of conflicting information, one that has made an ugly incident look all the more repugnant and suspicious. Welcome to Collateral. The FBI's shifting event narrative has been well documented by several smaller media outlets including the Atlantic Wire, the Rachel Maddow Show, and the Orlando Sentinel, which has done a lot of the original reporting on this. The result thus far has been to create an account that departs in key respects from the original story presented. The first reports on May 22nd, attributed to three of the officials present, had Todashev lunging at an FBI agent with a knife, who shot him. However, another story that same day claimed that the shooter may NOT have been the FBI agent, but one of the others at the scene. Apparently two of the three officials who originally saw Todashev lunging with a knife subsequently were now unsure of what had happened. A few days later on May 25th, citing other officials briefed on the matter, the Boston Globe reported that it WAS the FBI agent who fired the "Shot or shots". The same story mentioned a neighbor of Todashev who heard "Loud bangs" - plural - when the killing occurred. A day prior to this, Todashev's father held a press conference where he claimed to have pictures of his son taken by Todashev's friend, Khusen Tamarov, who was also questioned on several occasions by the FBI, including during the evening Todashev was killed. The pictures showed as many as seven shots impacting the body, including one near the crown of his head. These images remain unconfirmed as to their authenticity, however. Then, in a report on May 29th, FBI sources were now saying that Todashev was unarmed when he was shot and killed. We learned from an Orlando TV station that there was a samurai sword in Todashev's home that had smartly been moved to a corner, but when Todashev lunged, the agent who killed him believed he may have been going for it, or perhaps for the agent's gun. In the Washington Post version of the new story, the other officials had stepped out of the room, leaving the FBI agent alone with Todashev before he lunged. The article also mentioned that Todashev was just about to sign a confession to an unsolved and strange killing that had taken place in 2011, one that implicated both Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder Boston Bombing suspect, and Todashev in those killings. If all of that weren't enough, recall that the original reports had at least five officials present - two Massachusetts state police officers, an FBI agent, and unspecified "law enforcement personnel." "Personnel" would imply at least two persons, so that means at least five. And the presence of five officials squares with the recollections of Todashev's friend Tamarov, who was also questioned that evening and who had also been hounded by the FBI for a couple weeks before the killing. But by May 31st, several major news outlets were curiously accepting of the FBI's new claim that there had only been three officials present at the questioning (New York Times, CBS and the Associated Press). Two of the officials, apparently, had disappeared. There are other discrepancies than these, but we leave the matter here. While some of the story changing is understandable given the circumstances, other aspects of it plainly are not, and reek of an effort to manipulate the event narrative in favor of law enforcement. Most outrageous is that we're asked to accept that a young man trained in Mixed Martial Arts, and who was arrested just weeks earlier for a violent altercation, was questioned by FBI personnel within reach of potentially deadly objects. Todashev, it should be noted, had not been charged with any crime. He had not been implicated in the Boston Bombings, nor was he believed to hold the so-called extremist views of the suspected bombers. No, the FBI's dogged questioning of Todashev on this occasion and several previous ones has been linked to his alleged participation in the very odd triple-murder referenced earlier, one that occurred on September 11th, 2011 - the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. On that day in Boston, three young men were brutally murdered, their throats cut and marijuana poured over their dead bodies. It was not a robbery, as thousands of dollars were left at the scene. It turns out that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Bombing suspects, was a friend of one of the men murdered that day in 2011. The FBI contends its questioning of Todashev was in relation to that murder, and, crucially, that Todashev was about to confess just before he allegedly freaked out, requiring that the agents questioning him kill him.