As I was reading the news this morning to prepare for a second day of the thread to yesterday’s review of the Boston bombings affair, I saw an item about a shooting in Orlando that the search results page said concerned that case. I checked my thread and there was already an entry from (h/t) wendydavis on the shooting. Then refreshing the results page brought in a slew of more reports, as if the news were spreading like wildfire.

Namely, an FBI agent, who had at least three other law enforcement personnel available according to an official FBI statement, shot and killed Ibragim Todashev when the latter allegedly pulled a knife during an interview. The FBI was interviewing him because he had been a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the deceased son of Chechen immigrants whom it accuses of perpetrating the Boston marathon bombings along with his brother Dzhokhar. It is alleged that he was about to sign a statement confessing a role in the murder of Tamerlan’s friend Brendan Mess and two others in 2011, a crime to which the government has recently been attempting to tie the Tsarnaev brothers.

It is also said that Todashev was sufficiently friendly with Tamerlan Tsarnaev to travel from Florida to Boston to visit him, and that he had just cancelled a trip to Chechnya to accommodate the FBI’s wish to interview him further. Thus it seems clear that the North Caucasus region is connected to the matter, whatever one might think of the FBI’s allegations

Make of all this what you will, but remember that it is a fast-developing story.

Update Thursday, May 23, 8:35 AM Eastern
In the second paragraph above, the claim that Todashev wasion about to sign a confession is not actually contained in the CBS report linked to by the words “Ibragim Todashev,” but as the day wore on CBS did update the story to contain the assert that he had implicated both himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the 2011 murders and was about to sign a written confession, attributing this information to the usual “sources familiar with the investigation.” This morning the MSM in general (for example, CNN) are dutifully falling in line with the same assertion.

However, the claim would appear to conflict with statements by his friends to the respected Orlando Sentinel (updated around 7 PM last night). They say he was “a good guy with a temper” who, significantly, had not even heard of the murders in Waltham, Mass., although the FBI began hounding him (other sources say him and others of the Orlando Chechen community) as soon as the Tsarnaev brothers were accused of the Boston marathon bombings. Moreover, one of Kodashev’s friends, Khusen Taramov, told a local TV station that the Tuesday night FBI interview was to be the last one, presumably meaning that Kodashev had said the FBI told him that (without the added point that he would presumably be arrested for murder as soon as he signed the alleged confession).

Thus as emptywheel puts it, “chances are great that the FBI didn’t tape this claimed confession.”