Is­lam critic named as pos­si­ble tar­get

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By Matt Pearce matt.pearce@la­times.com

Con­tro­ver­sial anti-Is­lam ac­tivist Pamela Geller was men­tioned as a pos­si­ble tar­get for be­head­ing by a man who was shot and killed by a counter-ter­ror­ism task force, Bos­ton Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Wil­liam B. Evans said on the “To­day” show Thurs­day, but he char­ac­ter­ized it as “more along the lines of wish­ful think­ing.”

Evans dis­counted the idea that Usaamah Rahim, 26, had im­mi­nent plans to attack Geller, who hosted a provoca­tive Muham­mad car­toon con­test in Gar­land, Texas, last month that was at­tacked by two gun­men. Po­lice shot and killed both at­tack­ers in a park­ing lot.

But Evans added of Rahim, who had been un­der 24hour sur­veil­lance when he was shot in Bos­ton on Tues­day af­ter threat­en­ing of­fi­cers with a knife: “This was very real, it was very danger­ous, and when it un­folded Tues­day morn­ing, could have saved not only po­lice of­fi­cers’ lives, but who knows where it could have gone also.”

Also Thurs­day, sup­port­ers for Rahim’s fam­ily ques­tioned of­fi­cials’ use of deadly force and said they had seen no in­di­ca­tion that Rahim had been rad­i­cal­ized by vi­o­lent Is­lamist groups in the Mid­dle East such as Is­lamic State. An at­tor­ney for the fam­ily, Ron­ald Sul­li­van, told re­porters, “The fam­ily is not mak­ing any sub­stan­tive claims at this time about what hap­pened in this case.”

Mark Len­ni­han AP

PAMELA GELLER was a po­ten­tial tar­get for be­head­ing by a man killed by Bos­ton po­lice.

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