MOSCOW — The family of Ibrahim Todashev, who had ties to one of the Boston bombing suspects, is to sue the FBI for $30 million over his fatal shooting, lawyers said Wednesday.
Todashev, 27, was an acquaintance of fellow Chechnya native Tamerlan Tsarnaev — one of the two brothers accused of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people.
He was show seven times at his Orlando home in May 2013 by an FBI agent who was investigating his relationship with Tsarnaev and their connections to a grisly 2011 triple homicide in Waltham, Mass.
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The agent acted in self-defense after Todashev became angry during questioning and began wielding a pole “in the style of a javelin,” a Florida prosecutor later concluded.
Todashev’s family believes the FBI used excessive force, according to a notice of claim [PDF link here] filed on its behalf by lawyers at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The rights group also says the FBI was negligent in hiring the agent, who it says was the subject of two previous police-brutality lawsuits and four internal-affairs investigations.
“My son fell victim to the fact of having an acquaintance,” his father Abdulbaki Todashev told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “What happened to me … it can happen to anyone.”
He added: “I hope that justice will prevail.”
Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Florida branch of CAIR, said Todashev’s case highlighted the FBI’s practice of coercing Muslims into becoming informants — an issue that he said affected as many as 15,000 nationwide. Such tactics drive “unstable youths” to become jihad sympathizers, Shibly told NBC News.
The notice of claim was filed Monday. The Todashevs will have to wait for six months to actually sue the FBI, which has not commented on the lawsuit.
The trial of the younger Tsarnaev brother, Dzhokhar, was due to begin in Boston Wednesday.
The Boston FBI was not immediately available for comment but it has previously declined to comment on the case.
- Alexey Eremenko