Ibragim Todashev after winning a mixed martial arts fight. Undated.

Doubts about the already controversial shooting of Boston Bombing figure Ibragim Todashev in Florida last year are sure to grow with new revelations about the FBI agent who shot him.

As WhoWhatWhy previously reported, the case is full of anomalies and part of a larger pattern of harassment against Chechen-Americans who knew accused bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Like everything related to the bombing, Todashev’s killing is swaddled in official secrecy and the U.S. government’s latest report about the Boston tragedy shows there was plenty to be secretive about.

Emerging details about the FBI shooter’s past cry out for further inquiries about the FBI itself. How could they hire an officer with such a history?

Drawing of the scene of Todashev’s shooting from the Florida report

Drawing of the scene of Todashev’s shooting from the Florida report

Officials refused to identify anyone present during the May 22, 2013, shooting of Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter, in his Orlando apartment. But Florida State Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton’s report on the shooting did so—inadvertently—despite the FBI’s request to remove any identifying information.

On May 14, 2014, the Boston Globe identified Aaron McFarlane, 41, as the agent who emptied half his ammunition clip into Todashev. It uncovered his name by “removing improperly created redactions” in PDF files from the Florida report.

Digging through public records, the newspaper discovered McFarlane had been accused of brutality—twice—while serving as an Oakland police officer in lawsuits that were settled out of court. (McFarlane and another officer were allegedly beating up someone who had already been subdued when they noticed a bystander photographing the incident. Then they attacked the bystander.)

Ibragim’s handwritten murder confession, according to investigators

Ibragim’s handwritten murder confession, according to investigators

He also took the Fifth Amendment and later testified under immunity during a corruption investigation into a rogue police unit called “The Riders” whose members were charged with making false arrests, planting evidence, and falsifying police reports. The city settled the federal lawsuit for $10.9 million. McFarlane wasn’t charged in that case, or in three other internal affairs investigations, although a prosecutor accused him of being misleading.

McFarlane retired from the Oakland Police Department in 2004 on medical disability after repeatedly injuring his leg and breaking his ankle, securing a lifetime $52,000-a-year pension. Four years later he joined the FBI, raising questions about how he passed both the rigorous background check and the FBI’s physical requirements.

The Globe story advanced the work of the Boston Marathon Bombings blog which, in a May 3 post, explained how it used simple software to find the names of McFarlane and Massachusetts State Troopers Curtis Cinelli and Joel Gagne. It also recovered a picture of what the investigators said was Todashev’s unfinished, handwritten confession of involvement in a 2011 triple murder in Waltham, Mass. Authorities were already investigating Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s links to those slayings.

Among the other finds is a photograph of the gash on McFarlane’s head, which the report says was caused when Todashev struck him with a table. It gives no explanation as to why McFarlane turned his back on an agitated Todashev, a physically dangerous suspect who had a sticker of an AK-47 on the front door of his apartment.

Agent McFarlane’s head, lacerated when Todashev allegedly hit him with a table.

Agent McFarlane’s head, lacerated when Todashev allegedly hit him with a table.

The agent was cleared of any wrongdoing by an FBI internal review. That’s no shock. The FBI always clears its agents of wrongdoing in shootings.

Ashton cleared him too, but notes that the FBI complicated the analysis by limiting the Florida investigators’ access to McFarlane to a signed, sworn statement. Why didn’t the FBI let a fellow law enforcement agency follow its usual investigative procedures and make McFarlane available for an interview?

As with most aspects of the Boston Marathon bombing, the official answers leave us asking: what else are they hiding?


This post has been amended to reflect a correction. The original photo of a police officer in uniform incorrectly identified the subject as Aaron McFarlane. We have replaced the picture. ​

IMAGES: Todashev lying dead in his apartment

THUMBNAIL: Todashev after an MMA fight victory


0 responses to “Todashev’s Killer: No Wonder His Identity Was Secret”

  1. Title

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  2. Buford T Justice says:

    Sorry but Todashev deserved what he got.

    I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for a coward that uses bombs to kill innocent people.

  3. bovine46 says:

    Gee, another psychopathic cop that gets hired by the FBI. What a country!

  4. Michelle says:

    I graduated with Aaron Mcfarlane in San Leandro.

  5. Thomas J.Stratford says:

    Awww pity poo that nasty FBI is picking on those poor Muslim murderers and terrorists.

  6. frank pik says:

    Funny that all the bullet holes were in the floor and not the walls too. Something about them releasing his identity seems more like a smoke screen than anything else.

  7. rohr8 says:

    The most revealing part of this story to me is the fact that this murdering goon employed by the FBI retired from OAKLAND police at the age of 31 with a yearly lifetime pension of $52k that will be adjusted annually for inflation cuz he broke his ankle. Then this goon goes and gets a job with the FBI, but, of course, he continues to receive his CALIFORNIA police pension along with his fat federal paycheck with all the benefits of a useless d.c. bureaucrat with a license to kill unarmed victims. Money is good for these goons on the Dark Side.

    • Omar Shishani says:

      He is an excellent candidate to be hired by BLACKWATER to work as a mercenary hitman in the Middle East.

  8. Sarastro92 says:

    The FBI story doesn’t hold water. Todashev was recovering from knee surgery. Mobility was limited, and the claimed threats and maneuvers are highly unlikely.

    From CBS News- Boston:

    “Todashev’s father, Abdulbaki Todashev, also spoke at the news
    conference, tearing up over his son. Todashev said he came to Florida
    from Chechnya last week to try to learn more about what happened. He
    brought to the news conference two posters with photos of his son,
    including a picture that showed Ibragim Todashev’s stitched-up knee
    after surgery. The lawyers said the surgery was recent and that he was
    still limping at the time of questioning.”


  9. musings2 says:

    I think we should assume that whatever transpired in this encounter, the police have constructed some kind of a lie. How long it took, who was there, what Todashev thought it was about, his so-called confession – the whole thing is possibly designed to make you think “fog of war” where the deadly force might well have been execution-style from the get-go. The wounds on the cop’s head even make me think of the Trayvon Martin case where the security guard had worse-looking wounds after he entered the police station than before. They play us. They always play us. We simply do not have the raw data ever. All we can do is assume something is very wrong. It usually is.

  10. John Sakowicz says:

    Who is FBI Special Agent Aaron MaFarland;s boss? None other than Vincent B. Lisi. See: http://www.kzyx.org/index.php/talk-shows/politics-and-public-affairs/all-about-the-money/entry/who-is-vincent-b-lisi

  11. henrybowman_az says:

    “It uncovered his name by “removing improperly created redactions” in PDF files from the Florida report.”

    Translation: the Florida State Attorney’s office took technology lessons from Homer Simpson.


  12. N. Furthermore says:

    In an age when anyone can buy a cheap video camera for about 30 bucks, and people are using them to record important events like cats sleeping, the FBI did not think it was worth bothering with one to document the interrogation of a witness/suspect connected with a terrorist incident?

    The only reason the FBI does not record its interviews is so they can commit various crimes during those interviews and get away with it. This whole case is deeply suspicious. Too bad the mainstream press is not following this story the way WhoWhatWhy is. It deserves a lot more attention.

    • Sarastro92 says:

      Sure… much easier to construct a narrative step by step when an agents is “taking notes”

  13. Ezra says:

    The most likely scenario is that as Todashev was writting out his coerced confession, which ends with “we taped their hands together”, someone, struck Todashev in the face causing the injury evident in Todashev’s autopsy photos. Todashev instinctively retaliated. And the violence that resulted in his death ensued. It was reported elsewhere that none of the three murdered men were bound and I have seen nothing to indicate there was adhesive residue on their wrists. Whoever struck Todashev knew it would end this way.

  14. Alexander Seredin says:

    I object to Ibragim Todashev being referred to as a “Chechen”. He is as
    much of Chechen as any other Russian of 120 nationalitites which make up the blessed Russia. This is obviously peddled to muddy the issue, since Chechnya has a bad name in the West. But Checnya is RUSSIA, and any citizen of Mahachkala is RUSSIAN, irrespective of his nationality.

    • Crime Reporter says:

      Well, yes. But they consider themselves Chechen before Russian. They’ve been fighting for their independence for thousands of years.

      While I understand your reservations in modern day because of all the anti-Muslim propaganda, the fact is that they don’t consider themselves ethnic Russian.

    • Alexander Seredin says:

      That is your opinion, based on what you have learnt from US propaganda. Having served with Kalmiks, Chechens, Tatars, etc in WWII i completely disagree

  15. Robert says:

    Immune from criminal charges , their defence and any settlement is paid by tax payers. Right out of an old Clint Eastwood movie about police corruption.

  16. Patriarch says:

    Check this age progression out:

    Where was McFarlane when Sean Collier was shot in the head?

    Medically disabled McFarlane?

    • Sarastro92 says:

      The Sean Collier angle seems to fallen off the table in the Tsarnaev case…

  17. GlomOnToMe says:

    Face it people, we have passed the tipping point. The “authorities”, aka our employees, literally get away with murder on a regular basis and the only people that care are people like us. It only gets worse from here.

  18. trig400 says:

    The true 1% are the government bureaucrats who have such generous pensions, pay and perks.
    I smile realizing that their pensions will be peanuts when the dollar dies!

  19. Ken says:

    Amazing, PACER, which has all federal civil and criminal court records has no records for an Aaron McFarlane.

  20. Bryce says:

    Formerly a part of a small-time rogue police unit, the big-time rogues found him and brought him into the fold. A reliable operator for dirty work….

  21. Steadfast says:

    Someone down thread already surmised that which was my first thought: they ( FBI ) hired a known thug ( McFarlane) to do what known thugs do.

    My second thought was how similar this storyline is to many modern day cop goes into the FBI spaghetti thriller books. My mind also turns to the older Remo Williams ” Sinaju ” series as well, only Remo was out to get the ” farm ” and not to join it. It, being the scenario of McFarlanes hire is just to lurid to be for real…there is a hidden story in there somewhere, and a whole lot of fraud, accepting disability while working is fraud isn’t it? OH YEA I get it, for you and me yes it is a big fat crime, but for the elite and their mercenaries, no its not, how silly of me.


  22. tionico says:

    I think there’s some ‘splainin to do for someone.. yes, HOW IS IT that a city cop can be retired on medical disability, then show up in a high profile FBI case as a principal actor, given the generally higher standards of physical condition, ability, etc, estabished by the FBI? Either (A) his “retirement” froom Oakland is bogus, or it is illegally fraudulent, OR (B) FBI’s hiring of him was bogus or illegally fraudulent. Which is it? It can’t be (C) None of the Above.

    • Bryce says:

      D) You’re completely missing the crux of the story.

    • GlomOnToMe says:

      The crux is, if your friends told you about a training exercise they were involved in that was used as a false flag event, NEVER meet with the FBI alone. Actually it’s simpler: NEVER meet with the FBI alone.

    • Dogma says:

      Seems pretty straight forward to me; McFarlane had a habit of being, shall we say, an over-enthusiastic policeman. So when, in a moment of professional zeal, he cost the City of Oakland $11 million he was “retired” due to “health reasons”. (This way Oakland Police Dept. doesn’t lose face).

      But instead of giving him a new desk job, the FBI picks him up due to his “interviewing” skills to be an honorary member in their Stress-and-Duress Club*.

      *(Ankle mobility not necessary – Experience with brass knuckles mandatory!)

  23. Secrent says:

    Why would Todashev hit him on the head with a table? First of all the sound of picking up a table, even a small one, I think would have alerted McFarlane to spin around then get smacked in the face.
    Better yet, if Todashev was a MMA fighter, why not get McFarlane in a choke hold if he turned his back, that would be much more instinctive that hitting him with a table.

  24. dutch says:

    Just a minor point, but why are Todashev’s shoes off in the photo?

    • barbara henninger says:

      They didn’t wear shoes in the house. Ibragim requested the agent and troopers take off theirs as well. They complied. That’s probably why you see all those shoes in the hallway.

    • Crime Reporter says:

      It’s traditional for Muslims to take off their shoes at the front doors of their home to prevent anything unclean from scraping off the shoe and into the house.


    • Steve says:

      Chinese folk leave their shoes at the door , so do thai’s ….. come to think of it , most people who live on farms do the same thing, ……… Shill much ??

    • barbara henninger says:

      We do too. Keeps the carpets cleaner.

  25. disqusisdumb9 says:

    He was retained for one reason:assassination. Bets on how long he’ll survive?

  26. RapidRay01 . says:

    If I was McFarlane , I would not go on any Company training flights on a helicopter !


    The Company knows how to take care of it’s own ! Especially after they make the front page !

  27. Ezra says:

    Excellent article. Thank you for covering this. I would like to point out however, that the uniformed officer whose photo is at the top of the article has ears that stick out; the head with a bloody scalp wound does not.

    • SysCrusher says:

      Exactly. The man’s ears in the top picture are smaller as well. Where is the proof that the picture is McFarlane?

    • Shadowcloud ba'cho says:

      The “officer” and the “agent” are not the same. Neither is the man pictured in the prone position Todashev, not unless some of his gun shot wounds( head and upper back) healed post-mortem.

    • russbaker says:

      Fixed as appropriate and noted. Thanks.

  28. Randy Hitt says:

    The most overlooked/hidden fact from the Boston Mascara is the mere two degrees of separation between the brother’s Tsarnaev’s and their GREAT UNCLE Graham Fuller, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE CIA, and mastermind of the IRAN CONTRA affair.

    • dutch says:

      Not overlooked or hidden, just completely ignored. This single omission in itself is enough to prove that the MSM are complicit in a cover-up.

  29. dutch says:

    What would have been purpose, from the FBI’s perspective, of having Todashev sign a confession without a lawyer being present? If Todashev were a murderer, as they claim, who would believe that he would confess voluntarily? No one is going to believe that the conscience of a hardened criminal was bothering him – so what would have been his motive to confess? On the other hand, a man alone with three armed men would reasonably be assumed to be acting under coercion as he wrote out a false confession. In short, Todashev’s “confession” would never have been admissible in court and the FBI would have understood this – so why bother?

    Of course, now that Todashev is dead and his friends who might have been able to defend him have been either deported or threatened with deportation and/or jail, there is no one to contradict the FBI’s version of events.

    • barbara henninger says:

      Could it possibly be that it was about Waltham after all? If they got Ibragim to confess it might have let someone in high places off the hook on that crime. If Ibragim didn’t know squat about Waltham, as his “confession” seems to suggest, he can’t have been allowed to live to talk about it in court.

    • dutch says:

      Do you know where I can find the text of the “confession”?

    • barbara henninger says:

      There’s a picture of it here under the link “Boston Magazine obtained” in the second paragraph, but I haven’t seen it printed anywhere. http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/03/27/eyewitness-waltham-crime-scene-didnt-match-description-triple-murder-todashev-confession/

    • Sarastro92 says:

      Don’t expect to see anything… the FBI is spoon feeding this narrative..

      They say it was a “confession” … just as they say they have a “confession” from Dzhokar… we don’t know that

    • RapidRay01 . says:

      Are you talking about the Sheeple that would accept the F.B.I.’s signed confession ? If so , that represents about Eighty per cent of the U.S. population ! Once it , the confession , is broadcasted on the MSM , it is all the Sheeple need to know to realize the ” Truth ! ” , and is considered judge and jury conviction !

    • dutch says:

      Yes, a conviction in the media but not useable in court. The intent of the interview with Todashev could only have been for PR only as no legitimate law enforcement purpose can be shown.

  30. self defence says:

    I’m a cop and if somebody hit me over the head with a table so hard you could see a chunk of my exposed skull, I’d shoot him dead too.

    • Mike G says:

      Table vs. gun. I guess I know why cops are shooting so many innocent people these days. You really are a coward, aren’t you?

    • Strawberry Garcia says:

      If the guy incapacitates the officer then that individual has access to the gun so if you hit somebody like that, the officer has every right to fire

    • Mike G says:

      Obviously, he wasn’t incapacitated since he was allegedly the one who shot him. Not to mention the other cops right near by and possibly two in the room with him.

    • Strawberry Garcia says:

      “If”, I suppose Trayvon shouldn’t have been put down either

    • barbara henninger says:

      I was wondering about that skull. Wouldn’t there be a bump if it got clobbered with a table?

  31. Peter says:

    In Sibel Edmonds’ book Classified Woman she talks of the first time she was called in as an FBI translator after 9/11 and the suspect that was being interrogated was in handcuffs. Why wasn’t this suspect — a martial arts expert — restrained during this interrogation where he is apparently ‘confessing’ to a serious crime?

    Investigative articles such as this is why I $upport WhoWhatWhy.

  32. Patriarch says:

    Trooper Curtis Cinelli of the Massachusetts State Police Violent Apprehension Unit in Framingham, Massachusetts;

  33. guest says:

    That gash looks like someone shaved a thin narrow rectangle of hair and put fake blood around it.

  34. Kurt P says:

    One might imagine that McFarlane may well have been hired specifically to provide outcomes like this one.

  35. barbara henninger says:

    I can’t believe that “gash” on his head. I know the blood is dna’d as McFarlane’s but I can’t see how that little scratch would produce that much blood.

  36. gordon phinn says:

    Well well, it’s beginning to unravel. Or it is being allowed to unravel?

    • edwardrynearson says:

      the question is are there enough people who care about it being unraveled

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