Obama Presidency

Father of Slain Friend of Boston Marathon Bombers Asks Obama For Help

| by Allison Geller

Abdulbaki Todashev emailed President Obama pleading for information about the killing of his son, Ibragim Todashev.

Ibragim, 27, was shot by the FBI in a hazy set of circumstances after volunteering information about the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Todashev wrote to the president from Russia in an attempt to find out the facts surrounding his Chechen son’s death. Ibragim knew the Tsarnaev brothers, the bombing’s suspects, through boxing. He had been in the United States since 2008 and had no criminal history.

Todashev said his son voluntarily went to an FBI office in Orlando four times to share information with federal agents. One day they showed up at his apartment and shot him, claiming later that the man had violently confronted them.

“My reaching out to you is dictated by the calling of my soul and the unsubsiding pain of the father who has lost his guiltless son to a violent shooting death,” Todashev wrote.

“I am not asking you to share this pain with me; rather, I plead with you, the ruler of the great country and a guarantor of the democracy in the modern world, to see that the law and justice triumph in my son's case.”

Todashev offered to come to Washington to speak to Obama in person, and enclosed photos of his son’s bullet-riddled body.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the White House was reviewing the letter “to determine the appropriate follow-up.” The FBI declined to comment.

FBI officials first said Todashev threatened an agent with a knife, but later changed their story, altering the alleged weapon and concluding that it was no longer clear what had occurred.

“He was shot seven times,” Todashev told TIME in Moscow this August. “In the heart and in the head. What is that if not murder?”

The ACLU is helping Todashev further his case. Federal authorities and an Orlando prosecutor are also investigating.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty in the fatal bombing. His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a confrontation with police.

Sources: ABC News, TIME