Online links connect Boston Bombers to Todashev, Houston & Russian VK

Online networks show daisy chain links between Todashev, a Houston businessman, all linking back to the Tsarnaev bros. Photo: Online links connect people and locations

ORLANDO, May 24, 2013 – Online social networks can reveal alot. Including information about the relationshps of Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter and Chechen, that was fatally shot at his Orlando townhouse.  

During a meeting with FBI agents during which Todashev was allegedly being questioned about a triple murder that Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev is a suspect in, Todasheve was shot and killed, raising numerous questions in the minds of neighbors and revealing an interesting daisy chain of online links.

Todashev lived, and was killed, in the Windhaven condominium complex located in Orlando, Florida, near the Universal Studios theme park. Agents were reportedly talking to the man regarding his suspected role in a 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts. 

Following the shooting, Todashev’s neighbors spoke of a person who rarely left the property, but spent hours detailing and cleaning a prized vehicle, believed to be a 1998 Mercedes Benz E Class 300 or 320 with AMG Wheels.

“He was constantly detailing his car, obsessively,” neighbor Brian Carvajal told Communities Digital News in an exclusive interview.

Todashev Condo owned by person living in Houston, TX

Carvajal was under the impression that Todashev owned the property where he lived but Orange County Florida Property Appraiser records show Roman Shakhmanov (b. 12/13/1984) who is presently living in Houston, Texas, is the registered owner.

6022 Peregrine Avenue

6022 Peregrine Avenue

Shakhmanov purchased the condo July 14, 2010 for $32,000. Records show that Roman’s complete name is Roman Gennadiyevich Shakhmanov.

At this time the nature of the relationship between Shakhmanov and Todashev has not been uncovered. Calls to the business of record for Shakhmanov are not “going through to the subscriber.”

Shakhmanov is listed in telephone White Pages.com as living at the Peregrine Avenue address. Basir Akubaev, is also listed as living at a Peregrine Avenue address and is listed on Shakhmanov’s WhitePages.com page.

There is no listing for a person with the last name of Todashev at that address, however that was his place of residence, with neighbors confirming he had lived at the Windhaven complex for “several years”. 

Akubaev’s Russian social network page at VK.COM indicates a relationship between Akubaev and Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. His page contains a YouTube video of Tsarnaev. Following the shooting Akubaev posted content from the Free Dzhokhar Tsarnaev social networking page and a link to the article Why kill Chechens in America?

A translation of Basir’s post dated yesterday at 7:55am translates to say (grammatical errors not corrected in translation)

“Two days ago, the FBI took me and my friends, last night they took a guy by the name of Ibrahim, they said that they had to talk, and early in the morning we learned that he was killed. From below the video the way Hus gave an interview [Translator comment: this is confusing, but it appears to mean that the FBI interviewed him on video and it was a tense interview], now Chechens are strongly squeezed. We are in Orlando, Florida. The FBI asked him to go with them and killed him in his apartment, saying that he allegedly threatened [them]. It was total chaos. Chechens and other Caucasians in America, be careful and trust no one and talk only in the presence of a lawyer, none of us are immune from that same outcome.

Ibragim Todashev’s Chechen roots and mixed martial arts background mirror that of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston bombing suspect killed in a shootout with police last month.

Both Todashev and Tsarnaev lived in the Boston area and authorities were questioning Todashev regarding an unsolved murder of three persons in Waltham, Mass. In Sept. 2011, three men, Brendan Mess, 25, Erik Weissman, 31, and Raphael Teken, 37, were stabbed to death with a knife or ice pick. Authorities said their bodies had been covered with marijuana.

Information now suggests that Tsarnaev is a key suspect in the murder. Authorities were allegedly interrogating Todashev about his relationship to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and may have questioned him regarding the 2011 murders.

Some sources allege that Todashev had confessed to being complicit in that crime and that the FBI was there to obtain his confession and arrest him.

Todashev was shot during a meeting in his home with Federal agents and two Massachusetts state troopers, authorities said. Authorities initially reported Todashev had lunged at the FBI agent with a knife, which provoked the shooting. However, officials later said it was no longer clear what had happened.

Todashev was arrested earlier this month on a charge of aggravated battery after getting into a fight over a parking spot with two men — a father and son — at an Orlando shopping mall. The son was hospitalized with a split lip and several teeth knocked out, according to a sheriff’s report. The specific charge was aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, a second-degree felony. Todashev claimed self-defense.

“Also by his own admission Todashev was recently a former mixed martial arts fighter,” the arresting deputy said in his report. “This skill puts his fighting ability way above that of a normal person.”

Basir Akubaev and unidentifed friends (date unknown)

Basir Akubaev and unidentifed friends (date unknown)

Todashev was released on $3,500 bail after his May 4 arrest. According to Court records, Todashev privately retained Rivas for his defense.

Carvajal noted he thought “Todashev was rich as he did not appear to have a job, yet had the car, an attractive girlfriend and dressed well.

“There is no way he would have signed a confession without an attorney.  He had plenty of money”.

The Orlando arrest is not the only one of record for the man killed on Wednesday. Boston police also arrested Todashev in 2010 after a road rage incident.

Witnesses tell police that he argued with two other drivers and cut them off with his vehicle. According to the police report, he yelled, “You say something about my mother, I will kill you.”

Windhaven neighbors say Todashev was a quiet neighbor

Neighbors’ living in the Windhaven complex told Communities that Todashev was quiet, that there were not parties nor a lot of visitors.

“No one ever came to visit, the only person was the girlfriend, and all he did was detail his car and hangout with his girlfriend.” Carvajal says, “He would let the girlfriend drive the Mercedes; when he drove it was always very carefully, slowly, always wore his seatbelt and parked in the center of the parking lot.”

6602 Peregrine Avenue property photo

6602 Peregrine Avenue property photo

That car has since been impounded by police and neighbors remarked that the girlfriend was a fairly consistent presence in the Todashev’s life. Neighbors describe the woman as being in her 20’s, blonde, very attractive, and seeming to be of Russian descent.

They add, however, they have not seen her in several weeks.

A young woman who lives across the complex pond from the Todashev condominium said that she was working on schoolwork with her daughter. The daughter’s grandmother asking “did you hear those gunshots?”

In response to a remark that the sounds were probably fireworks from the nearby Universal Studios, the grandmother commented, “I am from Panama, and I know the sound of gunfire.”

The young mother said they were aware of the surveillance on Todashev and that she would see men she identified as FBI sitting in a car, engine running, in the parking lot of a local Hooter’s restaurant.

Carvajal also remarked that the gray Nissan with dark tinted glass was often in the neighborhood, engine running, with two men sitting inside.

“They always parked next to a Toyota van that did not have hubcaps. The Nissan had Florida tags and they would just sit there all day.”

Foremost in Carvajal’s mind is that Todashev could have been arrested at any time. He would often leave the condominium wearing little more than shorts, and obviously not concealing a weapon.

He asks, “Why did they have to arrest him in the middle of the night when they had been visibly watching him for the better part of a month?”

Carvajal says that on the night of the shooting he was driving home when he saw two Orlando Police Department (OPD) officers pull someone over at a traffic stop, delaying him a moment.

As he pulled into the parking lot he heard the boom, boom. Carvajal identified the gun saying he thought it was a “forty caliber, a glock, no muffler, clean.”

Carvajal said within 60 seconds of the gunshots, OPD were swarming into the complex, suggesting officers called for backup before they shot Todashev.

Caravajal recognized two of the officers present at the shooting as the men he previously saw conducting surveillance. He described one as thin and over 6’ tall, the other 5’10”-5’11” with short spikey hair.

Both men stayed at the complex the day following the shooting.

(AP contributed to this report)


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Alan Jones

Alan Jones is an investigative journalist covering a wide range of areas.  He has worked in the financial industry and has lived overseas.

 

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