Ibragim Todashev told federal immigration officials he feared persecution in his native Russia and needed safe harbor in the United States. He won asylum in 2008, then a green card. Then, relatives said, Todashev made plans to return to the country he’d fled.
Before he could follow through on those plans, the 27-year-old was shot and killed in Orlando on May 22 by an FBI agent investigating the Boston Marathon bombings. But Todashev’s willingness to return to a place he said he feared is raising new questions about his asylum claim, and focusing new attention on the asylum case of his friend, suspected Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.