Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Todashev shot 7 times, once in back of head?

FBI appears to be playing for keeps.

Khusen Taramov, a friend of Todashev’s who is coordinating the return of his body to Russia and who washed his body in the traditional Islamic fashion, said Todashev’s body had multiple gunshot wounds, including one in the head and several near the heart.

Officials at the Orange County medical examiner’s office said they have completed an ­autopsy and ruled Todashev’s death a homicide and that the office released the body to ­Todashev’s wife. Officials said they will not release further infor­mation until the completion of the FBI investigation.  http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/05/29/islamic-group-calls-for-justice-department-probe-into-shooting-marathon-bombing-suspect-associate/ehHJmRdLDI8a1XM5mOeWKO/story.html

Muslim civil-rights group calls for DOJ investigation into Todashev shooting


A group that represents Muslim-Americans held a press conference Wednesday to raise questions about the shooting death of Ibragim Todashev.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for an independent investigation by the Department of Justice to find out why the FBI shot and killed Todashev last Wednesday, claiming he was unarmed.

The shooting occurred on May 22 at the Windhover condominium complex near Kirkman Avenue and Vineland Road.

CAIR director Hassan Shibly said the shooting of Todashev was “excessive and unjust.”

“Ibragim was indeed unarmed when he was shot seven times — what appears to be once in the back of the head,” Shibly said.

Channel 9’s Ryan Hughes learned a friend of Todashev, Khusen Taramov, was in the townhome, but said he was asked to leave hours before Todashev was killed.

When he came back a couple of hours later, his friend was dead, Taramov said.

The FBI said an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers were in Orlando to question Todashev about his involvement in a 2011 triple murder near Boston that allegedly involved bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarneav.

WFTV originally reported last Wednesday that Todashev lunged at the agent with a knife and the agent opened fire, but ABC News sources said Wednesday he wasn’t armed.

A medical examiner’s office spokesman said Tuesday his death was ruled a homicide but couldn’t say more because of the open investigation.

The FBI office in Tampa is working to obtain information on the shooting and the status of the investigation.

Last week, all the FBI would say on the record was Todashev became violent and that caused the agent to shoot him.

Todashev’s widow, Reni Manukyan, wiped away tears at Wednesday’s press conference. She said Todashev would never do what he is being accused of.

“I would never expect anything from him. Anything that’s being told about him — that he was down — it would never get to my mind,” Manukyan said.

Manukyan said Todashev had no relationship with Tsarnaev.

“They were never friends. They know each other because they come from the same place: Chechyna,” Manukyan said.

Manukyan said Todashev wasn’t even in Massachusetts at the time of the murders.

The family is still making arrangements to fly the body to Chechnya where Todashev will be buried.

An FBI spokesman in Tampa late Wednesday told Channel 9’s Ryan Hughes that he’s trying to find out any new details with the investigation.




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Ibragim Todashev’s killing Wasn’t So Simple

Ibragim Todashev may or may not have pulled a knife on investigators in his own apartment. He may or may not have been ready to sign a confession implicating himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a 2011 triple homicide. All we know is that lethal force was used when Todashev was shot and killed early Wednesday morning, and the only people alive to tell us the truth are the Massachusetts State Police officers and FBI agents who were in the room and pulled the trigger.

The facts: Todashev (pronounced TOE-duh-shev) was a 27-year-old ethnic Chechen who hung out with the elder Tsarnaev in Boston and moved to Florida two years ago. He was shot dead after apparently lunging at an officer after walking away from questioning at his condo near Universal Studios in Orlando. What spilled out in the immediate aftermath were reports that 1) Todashev was about to complete his written confession, perhaps strengthening the case against Tsarnaev; and 2) Todashev pulled a knife on investigators, prompting them to kill one of the only men in America who have known when Tsarnaev turned for the worse. Both of those claims seem a lot less solid today, as law enforcement sources reassess their leaks once again in this information flood of case — and as Todashev’s family speaks out for the first time.

Claim No. 1: He had a knife.

Where it came from: NBC News was one of the first outlets to turn the tide of the story — that Todashev drew a knife on investigators and that, after orally confessing to the triple murder but not yet finishing his written account, he got violent enough to get himself killed on the spot. The Associated Press attributed their own knife account to three anonymous law enforcement officials.

Is it true? We’re not sure, but right now it looks unlikely. A couple of those three officials are now walking back their descriptions to the AP:

Three law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Todashev had lunged at the FBI agent with a knife. However, two of those officials said later in the day it was no longer clear what had happened. The third official had not received any new information.

That’s 66 percent of sources who are “no longer clear” if Todashev had a knife. The New York Times has one of its two senior law enforcement officials claiming Todashev had a knife “or a pipe or something.” In CBS’s report, there is no mention of the knife, but rather a violent “move” that Todashev made:

Law enforcement officials say the 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter made a move that threatened the investigators.

And the FBI’s official statement has no mention of a knife being drawn, but rather a “violent confrontation” which might be the “move” CBS is reporting:

The agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers, and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing an individual in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual.

Why it matters: Well, one of the big questions is why the FBI used lethal force against Todashev. “This is something they should be trained for,” Todashev’s wife, Reni Manukyan, tells The Wall Street Journal today. “They should be trained to not use a gun in any way.” If Todashev had a knife and charged at law enforcement officials, an argument could be made that lives were in danger. To be sure, he had a history: The Boston Globe describes Todashev as “a professional mixed martial arts fighter with a violent ­record.”

But why shoot, when you’ve got a man with potential answers about the man behind a terror attack on American soil in front of you? “If somebody jumps on you and you have a gun, and you don’t do something, the gun will quickly come into play,” one of the Times sources said. As NBC West Palm Beach reported, Todashev was meeting with FBI agents and two Massachusetts state troopers when he was shot. Outlets like New York’s Daily News reported that Todashev “stabbed an FBI agent” before being shot — that would be harder to do without a knife.

As Gawker’s Max Rivin-Nadler points out, investigators will have to figure out how Todashev, who was being interviewed at his house for three hours, came to be in possession of a knife (and if he actually did) and why a room full of law enforcement agents used lethal force against a man who might have been armed, at most, with a knife. Or something. And they’ll have to deal with the fallout in a larger terror investigation and trial of Tsarnaev’s younger brother.

Claim No. 2: He was going to own up to the murder, on paper.

Where it came from: The string of the Boston marathon bombing investigation has led investigators to Orlando, to look for answers in the gruesome murder on September 11, 2011 in Waltham, Massachusetts, of three men — including an apparent “best friend” of Tsarnaev — who were left with slit throats and covered in marijuana, an apparent drug deal gone bad but possibly worse… or at least a sign that Tsarnaev had been a drug dealer or a killer before he took what had been thought as the fateful trip to Russian in 2012. Todashev had reportedly been questioned for some time, and had admitted to the investigators at his home that he and Tsarnaev were responsible, but he didn’t finish or sign the written confession. And then:

  • “As investigators pushed at him towards a confession, he snapped,” CBS’s Bob Orr reported.
  • “Agents said Todashev was about to sign a confession admitting to a triple slaying that occurred in Boston in 2011,” NBC Orlando reported.
  • “A second law enforcement official confirmed Todashev made the confession,” reads CNN’s report.

Is it true? Well, it’s a dead man’s word versus agents and officials close to the investigation. And Todashev’s Chechen friends and family, who are insisting that they all distrusted the FBI but cooperated — and that nothing like this was suspected in the “final interview.” In the days following the bombing, Todashev’s wife tells WFTV in Boston, “He expected that they were going to come and question him, because they both come from the same place from Chechnya.” That led to a series of interviews and the seizure of his computer and phone, she told the Journal. “He was supposed to be on a plane tomorrow, but he told he had to meet with the FBI,” his father, Abdulbaki Todashev, told The Boston Globe in an interview from Russia today. “They killed my son and then they made up a reason to explain it.” Turns out, Todashev didn’t have a lawyer.

And if Todashev was going to sign a confession and admit that he and Tsarnaev were guilty of the triple homicide in 2011, his friends sure didn’t see it coming. “Several of Todashev’s friends told the Sentinel that the FBI told him this week’s discussion would be his last interview and that he was going to be cleared,” The Orlando Sentinel‘s Jerriann Sullivan reported. Then again, if you were going to sign a confession admitting to a triple homicide, you probably wouldn’t tell your friends, would you?

“I think something went wrong there. I think they just shot him. He didn’t do anything. I know him. He just wanted everything to be over,” one of Todashev’s roommates told NBC West Palm Beach, and his estranged wife added, “He wasn’t involved. So he was not even nervous [to talk with the FBI].” Todashev’s wife could be talking about the Boston bombings, but she was right about Todashev being cooperative. Todashev, according to CBS, had been talking with the FBI since two days after the Tsarnaev brothers were identified. He even postponed that trip to Chechnya to work with investigators his roommates said, making his “snap” seem even more random.

Why it matters: A confession would have solved the triple homicide, and it would have cemented Tsarnaev’s role in that crime. Since reading Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his miranda rights, investigators haven’t been able to extract information about the Tsarnaevs as freely as they’d like — or at least it hasn’t spilled out in public as much as the people of Boston would like to hear. A confession might have been a big piece in the puzzle of the Tsarnaev brothers. Instead, we’re left with a Jack Bauer-style tale of secret confessions turned deadly, with more questions than answers.

What’s perhaps more puzzling is that the story doesn’t seem to add up: What new piece of information makes a guy who has been cooperating with FBI agents for the last month or so turn on them? Could the seizure of the computer have led to more revelations? Could the threat of jail time have dawned on him? And even more macabre, one of Todashev’s friends told NBC Orlando that he had been questioned with Todashev by agents on Tuesday night — and that Todashev felt like he was going to die. “He felt inside he was going to get shot,” Khusn Taramiv said. “I told him, ‘Everything is going to be fine, don’t worry about it.’ He said, ‘I have a really bad feeling.'”

What happens now? The The Orlando Sentinel reports that the FBI’s team of investigators will be picking up the pieces and trying to figure out what exactly happened, as is routine when a suspect who has very important information regarding a terror suspect and unsolved triple homicide is shot to death. The New York Times points out that there may even be public questioning of who, exactly, killed the would-be accomplice: “It was not certain who, or how many officers, had fired on Mr. Todashev.” What we do know is that Todashev’s death isn’t immune to uncertainty, and confusing conflict of facts that have seemingly followed the Tsarnaevs and the FBI for more than six weeks since that fateful afternoon in Boston.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at aabadsantos@theatlantic.com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

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Brendan Mess Triple Murder

Brendan Mess Waltham MA triple-homicide, 9/11/11

There are many articles and videos on this.  Tamerlan is alleged to have killed 3 young men, slit their throats with the aid of his brother, allegedly.  But they did it, beyond a reasonable doubt.  $5,000 left at the scene, a Mercedes towed away, and marijuana left at the scene, which was left on the victims bodies in 3 different rooms.  This is where Tamerlan obtained his guns, turning them first on Brendan and his doomed drug associates.  The slaying occurred on 9/11/2011, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Two of the victims were Jewish, one a Brandeis graduate.

Grisly.  The case was eventually kicked up to the Mass State Police, where it was dispatched by FBI-Boston and CIA.  Tamerlan Tsarnaev was never questioned, despite being Brendan’s best friend, despite being the last to be seen with Brendan, and despite not showing up at his wake or funeral.  This is not some wild conspiracy theory.  These are all facts.  Crimes like this do not miss the radar of FBI, national security, intelligence and the CIA.  Never will happen.  Not once.

Update:  May 1, 2013

I’m trying to locate all police and investigator comments on this case.  There is something very rotten here.  This case seems to have been buried, intentionally.

Waltham authorities helpless in Sept murder investigation 11/4/11

Are Authorities Still Investigating Waltham Triple Murder A Year Later?  9/12/12

http://www.businessinsider.com/murder-of-brendan-mess-the-best-friend-of-boston-bombing-suspect-tamerlan-tsarnaev-2013-4 4/20/13

Gym owner Allan said that Tamerlan had once introduced him to an American, Brendan Mess, whom Tamerlan described as his best friend.

Two years ago, Mess and two other men were brutally killed in a Waltham apartment where they were found by police with their throats slit and their bodies covered with marijuana. The murders remain unsolved.

Here’s Gerard ‘Gerry’ Leone, who was Middlesex District Attorney at the time of the Brendan Mess murders, but announced on January 11th, 2013 that he would not seek re-election in November.  Then, on March 19th, he announced that he would step down early and leave office on April 12th to join Nixon Peobody on the 29th of April.  Leone actually stepped down on April 19, 2013 and joined Nixon Peabody LLP, a  well-respected international law firm, where he will become a partner alongside former Senator Scott Brown, beginning April 29th.  Mass Governor Patrick named Michael Pelgro interim Middlesex DA, with an election later this November.  I thought it was strange that Leone chose not to finish his term, but I find his past and current associations even stranger.

He is an executive board member of the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council as well as an executive committee member for the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

He also served as the first Anti-Terrorism Task Force coordinator in Massachusetts following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

As the Department of Justice’s first ever Anti-Terrorism Task Force Coordinator for Massachusetts, Leone initiated nationally recognized and unprecedented cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities to protect the Commonwealth from terrorist threats following September 11th.  http://www.nixonpeabody.com/Middlesex_District_Attorney_Gerry_Leone_Joins_Nixon_Peabody“Boston

Bomber’s” Former Friends Suspect Him In Triple Murder

Police have said they believe there were two other men in Mess’ apartment — the scene of the crime — sometime before the murder, but those two men have never been identified. Ray said following the murder, he was questioned by detectives who told him Tsarnaev may have been with Mess either the day of or the night before, although the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office said they could not confirm any relationship between Mess and Tsarnaev. The Waltham police department declined to comment on the murder or on the alleged relationship between Tsarnaev and Mess.

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Statement By Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers Regarding Information Sharing

FBI Boston May 09, 2013
  • Special Agent Greg Comcowich (617) 223-6110

Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTFs) members, including the state and local members, are responsible for maintaining awareness of possible threats to their respective jurisdictions. To manage and provide accessibility to the significant number of assessments conducted by the JTTF, each task force member has access to Guardian, a web-based counterterrorism incident management application that was launched in July 2004. In Guardian, threat and suspicious activity incidents are entered, assigned, and managed in a paperless environment and allows terrorist threats and suspicious activities to be viewed instantaneously by all system users. The primary purpose of Guardian is to make immediately available threat and suspicious activity information to all system users and to provide all users with the capability to search all incidents for threat trend analysis.

Further, all JTTF members are able to perform customized key word searches of Guardian to identify relevant assessment activity. Boston JTTF members, including representatives from the Boston Police Department (BPD), were provided instruction on using Guardian, including suggestions on methods for proactively reviewing and establishing customized searches, which would allow them to be fully informed of all JTTF activity that may affect Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Guardian allows for the necessary accessibility and awareness that otherwise would be unfeasible given the number of assessments that are conducted by the JTTF on a regular basis.

Many state and local departments, including the BPD, have representatives who are full-time members of the JTTF, and specifically had representatives assigned to the JTTF squad that conducted the 2011 assessment of deceased terrorism suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. As set forth by law and policy, assessments may be carried out to detect, obtain information about, or prevent or protect against federal crimes or threats to the national security or to collect foreign intelligence when the information provided to the FBI does not rise to a level that would allow for the opening of a predicated investigation. By their very nature, and in accordance with U.S. constitutional restrictions, JTTF members are limited in the types of investigative methods that can be utilized in an assessment.

In 2011 alone, the Boston JTTF conducted approximately 1,000 assessments, including the assessment of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, which was documented in the Guardian database. The Tsarnaev assessment was thorough, comprehensive, and fully compliant with law and policy.

While sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), JTTFs are composed of federal, state, local, and tribal personnel and are based in more than 100 cities nationwide, including Boston. The JTTF is a collaborative environment that allows for the completely unrestricted flow of investigative information among task force members. Importantly, the purpose of sharing information freely is to create a force multiplier by enabling state, local, and federal officials to participate in the intelligence cycle by gaining awareness of activity that may affect their respective jurisdictions and then providing any information from their own records that might assist in the further analysis and investigation of potential terrorists. Further, fusion centers—entities separate and apart from JTTFs—are designed to provide terrorism-related information to the JTTFs for possible investigative purposes. State and local law enforcement personnel, analysts, and FBI personnel at fusion centers who have the appropriate security clearances are afforded the same unrestricted access as their FBI colleagues.


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Allakhverdov family puzzle over ‘Misha’ claims

Perhaps Misha-Mikhail has more to say:

Mikhail Allakhverdov is listed with his brother Sergei as an officer of a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation called the Educational Organization for Improvements in Historical Studies, Inc. A telephone number listed for the company at a Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts address was no longer in service Monday.

Gennady Napadensky and Victoria Poupko, a Massachusetts couple from the former Soviet Union, who are listed as professional associates of Mikhail’s older brother Sergei, told Al-Monitor in a phone interview Monday that as far as they knew, Sergei was an atheist and the family was of Armenian Christian descent. Mikhail, they thought, converted to Islam after his immigration to the United States.

Gennady Napadensky told Al-Monitor he met Sergei about eight years  ago when he was looking for an historian and found him through a Russian bookstore in Brookline, Massachusetts.  They formed a company that produces digital interactive maps.

Victoria Poupko, Napadensky’s spouse and a former Northeastern University math professor who has worked as a human rights activist on behalf of persecuted ethnic minorities from the former Soviet Union, said she believes she met Mikhail Allakhverdov only once several years ago.

An activist on behalf of Chechen refugees, Poupko, of Russian Jewish descent, said she saw Mikhail in a car with a Chechen once, but she did not know who it was.

More than meets the eye with Mikhail ‘Misha’ Allakhverdov in my opinion.  How does Victoria Poupko (above) happen to see Tsarnaev in a car with Misha, and not know who it was if she knew it was him?  How did Victoria Popuko know the person in the car with Misha was Chechen, but she didn’t know who it was?  Seems strange to just happen to be with or near Misha at a time that he is with Tamerlan and not know who he is, if both Tamerlan and Poupko are with Misha enough to cross paths with each other on random days.  One of the two, Tamerlan or Poupko, must be with Misha a lot for that mathematical improbability to happen.  I have yet to hear a story from any of these Chechen/Dagestani people that I believe or makes sense.  Not once.

Anzor and Zubeidat Tsarnaev with Aunt Patimat Suleimanova

Anzor and Zubeidat Tsarnaev with Aunt Patimat Suleimanova

Note:  Chechen is also one of the official languages of Dagestan as well as Chechnya, and is spoken heavily in western Dagestan, ancestral home of Dagestani Avars including Zubeidat Tsarnaev.

Additionally, from Laura Rozen, who first confirmed Tsarni-Fuller marriage connection to CIA, writing for al-Monitor:  http://backchannel.al-monitor.com/index.php/2013/04/5118/family-associates-of-armenian-azeri-convert-puzzle-over-misha/

Sergei Allakhverdov-Amatuni (as the brother spells his names in some official listings) is also listed as a director of a Massachusetts non-profit, the Transitional Assembly for Peace and Democracy in Chechnya, Inc. Registered in 2003, the group lists as its president Salman Masayev (or Musayev), who has subsequently appeared in media reports as the deputy head of the Caucasus Muslims Organization, based in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Nadezhda Banchik, a California-based human rights activist for persecuted former Soviet minorities and who is a friend of Poupko’s, told Al-Monitor in a phone interview Monday that she does not know the Allekhverdovs, though she is listed with Sergei Allekhberdov-Amatuni as an officer in the Transnational Assembly. (She thought the group’s listed president Musayev might have been a Harvard student of Chechen descent who later returned to the region.)

She noted, in a telephone interview, that the Boston Marathon bombings occurred a few days after the US publication of the Magnitsky list, and suggested that it was strange, if Russia had suspicions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, that it did not arrest him when he was there for six months in 2012.

These non-profit “benevolent” organizations are used to launder money and move arms for drugs, heroin in this case.  Tsarni has already been implicated in such money laundering operations and fronts for illegal acquisition of Kazakhstan state oil drilling licenses.  Lozen does excellent work in that article.

Mikhail Allakhverdov Rhode Island home

Mikhail Allakhverdov’s Rhode Island residence

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