Former roommate Khusen Taramov said the FBI was asking questions about a conversation Todashev had with the elder bombing suspect a month before the Boston Marathon attack.
The Tsarnaev brothers have roots in the turbulent Russian regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, which have become recruiting grounds for Islamic extremists. Investigators have said the Boston bombing was retaliation for the U.S. wars in Muslim Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details of the investigation, said Todashev came at the FBI agent with a knife before he was shot. The FBI initially said the agent fired the fatal shot, but later in the day the bureau left open the question of who was responsible.
An FBI team was dispatched from Washington to review the shooting, a standard step in such cases.
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. 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.”
Todashev was released on $3,500 bail after his May 4 arrest. His attorney, Alain Rivas, didn’t immediately respond to a call for comment Wednesday.
Police tape blocked off the complex of townhouses near Universal Studios where Todashev was shot.