Bos­ton sus­pect planned to be­head po­lice: pros­e­cu­tors

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JEN­NIE MATTHEW

A 26-year-old se­cu­rity guard shot dead by po­lice and the FBI in Bos­ton planned to be­head Amer­i­can po­lice of­fi­cers at ran­dom to wage vi­o­lent ji­had, court pa­pers said Wed­nes­day.

Usaamah Rahim pur­chased three mil­i­tary-style knives and a sharp­ener from Ama­zon.com be­fore al­legedly de­cid­ing to “go af­ter” the “boys in blue” be­cause they were “the eas­i­est tar­get.”

But he was killed out­side a phar­macy at 7:00 a.m. on Tues­day. Po­lice said he re­fused to drop his weapon and lunged to­ward five re­treat­ing of­fi­cers, who then shot him to save their lives.

An al­leged as­so­ciate, David Wright, 25, ap­peared in court Wed­nes­day charged with con­spir­ing to ob­struct a fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

He was al­legedly fully in­formed of Rahim’s plans and or­dered him to delete his phone and com­puter data, and de­stroy his smart­phone to pre­vent it fall­ing into the hands of law en­force­ment.

Court pa­pers said Rahim, who lived in Bos­ton, had been “plan­ning to en­gage in a vi­o­lent attack in the United States” since May 26 — lit­tle over a week be­fore his death.

He al­legedly or­dered three knives from Ama­zon, which were de­liv­ered to his home, and dis­cussed his plan with Wright and a third per­son on a beach in Rhode Is­land last Sun­day.

Wright al­legedly told the FBI the first plan was to be­head an un­named vic­tim in an­other state, but Rahim tele­phoned him at 5 a.m. on the morn­ing of his death to change his mind.

In­stead he told Wright that he was go­ing to “go af­ter” the “boys in blue,” and ran­domly kill po­lice of­fi­cers in Mas­sachusetts — ei­ther on Tues­day or Wed­nes­day — the court pa­pers said.

It was with one of the knives pur­chased from Ama­zon that Rahim lunged to­ward of­fi­cers two hours later, court pa­pers al­leged.

Wright was ar­rested overnight and ac­cused with con­spir­ing with Rahim to de­stroy, mu­ti­late, con­ceal and cover up his smart phone in or­der to ob­struct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which is a fed­eral of­fense.

Rahim at first had plot­ted to be­head Pamela Geller, an ac­tivist and con­ser­va­tive blog­ger, law en­force­ment sources told CNN tele­vi­sion. She was in the spot­light last month when a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer stopped an attack at her group’s con­test for Prophet Mo­hammed draw­ings in Gar­land, Texas.

Not Shot in the Back

If con­victed, Rahim faces up to five years in pri­son and a fine of US$250,000.

Bos­ton Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Wil­liam Evans said there had been in­tel­li­gence for “weeks” that mil­i­tary and law en­force­ment lives were at threat.

Au­thor­i­ties put out “sev­eral no­tices” about the threat of attack on law en­force­ment and mil­i­tary bases, he added.

The court pa­pers made no men- tion of when, where or how Rahim may have be­come sus­cep­ti­ble to ex­trem­ist Is­lamist thought.

A se­nior of­fi­cial warned last week that the United States launches a new in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sus­pected sym­pa­thiz­ers of the Is­lamic State ex­trem­ist group in Iraq and Syria al­most ev­ery day.

On Wed­nes­day, a Mus­lim com­mu­nity leader shown a video of Rahim’s death, said there was no ev­i­dence to back up a claim from his fam­ily that he had been shot in the back as he waited for the bus.

“It was not at a bus stop. He was not shot in the back,” Imam Ab­dul- lah Faaruuq told re­porters.

It was not clear what hap­pened and the knife was not vis­i­ble but “he was ap­proach­ing them. They did back up,” Faaruuq ac­knowl­edged.

Evans said the video showed five law en­force­ment of­fi­cers re­treat­ing with their hands up, and that wit­ness and of­fi­cer ac­counts had de­tailed com­mands on the sus­pect to drop his weapon.

“You see them go a good 15 yards with a threat com­ing at them. We can all agree. The weaponry is not clear, but with five of­fi­cers com­ing at them, there was no doubt in the video,” said Evans.

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