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Anti-Terrorism Investigation Ends in Police Shooting Death in Boston

Police in action

Thomas Hawk-cc

John Burger - published on 06/02/15

Brother says suspect was shot in back on his way to work

In another example of how homegrown terrorism may be a growing threat, Boston police shot and killed a Massachusetts man who had been under surveillance by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, ABC News reported.

The FBI had been tracking 26-year-old Usaama Rahim for several weeks, and authorities are looking into whether he may have been radicalized by ISIS propaganda online, law enforcement sources said.

Such radicalization "represents the newest element of the terrorist threat facing the country, where we have individuals who affiliate with terrorist ideologies but do not coordinate their operational activities with terrorist organizations," John Cohen, a former top Homeland Security official said on ABC News. "This poses the most significant counter-terrorism challenge" for U.S. authorities since the 9/11 attacks, Cohen added.

Late on Tuesday the FBI arrested a man in connection with the case, USA Today reported.

Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, said David Wright was taken into custody from his home in suburban Everett, Mass. She said Wright will face federal charges and is expected to appear in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

She wouldn’t specify the charges, but confirmed they’re related to the Rahim investigation.

ABC said that law enforcement wanted to question Rahim after receiving "some terrorist-related information," according to Evans. Specifically, Boston police and the FBI wanted to talk with Rahim "about his intentions in some other matters that we turned up," said Vincent Lisi, the head of the FBI’s Boston field office.

CNN reported that Ibrahim Rahim, the brother of Usaama and an imam at the Lighthouse Mosque in Oakland, California, wrote on Facebook that his brother was shot while at a bus stop on his way to work. He asked for prayers for his brother. Ibrahim said his brother was on the phone with their father and was shot three times in the back during the confrontation.

But the FBI noted a recent change in the suspect’s behavior, including social media threats against police, which prompted them to try to approach him Tuesday, according to the official.

Evans said officers and FBI agents confronted Rahim, who suddenly turned around with a large black knife and lunged at officers and federal agents. The officers had not drawn their weapons at that point. According to CNN: 

The officers retreated and ordered the man to put down the weapon before they opened fire, Evans said. The shooting was captured by surveillance video and observed by witnesses. 

"Unfortunately, he came at the officers and, you know, they do what they were trained to do and, unfortunately, they had to take a life," Evans said. 

In a statement, the Islamic Society of Boston said police have invited Muslim leaders Wednesday to watch surveillance video of the shooting. 

Rahim died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, police said.

Islamist Militants
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