In this May 4, 2013 police mug provided by the Orange County Corrections Department in Orlando, Fla., shows Ibragim Todashev after his arrest for aggravated battery in Orlando. Credit: AP
Just weeks after reports that Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarneav were potentially responsible for a triple homicide back in 2011, new information is emerging that may substantiate at least a portion of this theory.
At the center of the new revelations is an unsolved murder that has gained renewed scrutiny in the wake of the marathon attack. Three bodies were discovered on Sept. 11, 2011 in an apartment near Boston. All of the victims had their throats slit and their bodies were found covered in marijuana, Business Insider reports.
Following the terror attack at the marathon, new questions about these murders developed, specifically considering that Tamerlan called one of the victims, Brendan Mess, 25, his best friend (the two boxed with one another and were, at one point, roommates). The other two victims were Erik Weissman, 31, and Raphael Teken, 37.
Earlier this month, ABC News reported the following about Tamerlan and his brother, Dzhokhar, and their alleged involvement in the murder:
Now law enforcement officials tell ABC News that some crime scene forensic evidence provided a match to the two Tsarnaev brothers. The officials also said records of cell phones used by the Tsarnaevs appears to put them in the area of the murders on that date. Several officials confirmed the new findings but declined to be identified because they are not authorized to comment on the ongoing investigation.
It is unclear whether the younger brother, who survived the Boston terror attack and its aftermath, was also involved in the homicide -- and authorities are still investigating this prospect. However, newly-discovered ties between Tamerlan and Ibragim Todashev, a man who was killed on Wednesday by FBI officials, create both intrigue and additional questions.
Sources and friends claim that the two knew one another, although the nature and depth of the relationship are unclear. And, as TheBlaze's Liz Klimas previously reported, while he died in Florida, Todashev lived outside Watertown, Massachusetts last year -- the same area whether police and the Tsarneav brothers faced-off following the Boston bombing. But proximity and closeness don't necessarily implicate Todashev in the 2011 murder. That said, some other details -- and an alleged admission -- may.
On Wednesday, NBC News tweeted some information from law enforcement sources that seemingly adds insight into the relationship between the two men. The outlet wrote, "Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and man killed by FBI in Orlando responsible for 2011 triple homicide, sources say." This message was followed up with another that read, "Tsarnaev and Ibragim Todashev murdered three people in drug rip-off in Waltham, Mass. to avoid being identified, sources say."
This information came from law enforcement officials who told NBC News that Todashev confessed to murdering the three men back in 2011 and that he also implicated Tamerlan in the crime. Todashev was then killed by an FBI agent following his admission, as he purportedly tried to attack the official with a knife during the interview. Despite this act, it is not, at this time, suspected that he had any involvement in the Boston terror attack.
ORLANDO, FL - MAY 22: Police tape surrounds the back of the apartment where a suspected friend of the Boston bombers was shot and killed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 22, 2013 in Orlando, Florida. Ibragim Todashev was being questioned by the FBI about his ties to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects when he was killed after attacking the agent. Credit: Getty Images
In a statement this week, the FBI explained the circumstances surrounding Todashev's death.
"The agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers, and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing an individual in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual,” the FBI statement read. "During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening injuries."
As for the triple homicide, law enforcement sources told NBC News that it was a drug ripoff that turned deadly when Tamerlan and Todashev realized that the victims would later be able to identify them. The murders were allegedly an effort to prevent such an action from being taken.
Naturally, this spawns questions surrounding whether the two men were drug dealers and, if so, to what extent this activity ranged.