Boston attacker allegedly plotted beheadings, cop kills

Boston attacker allegedly plotted beheadings, cop kills
© CNN

A Boston man killed by police on Tuesday and another 24-year-old arrested hours later discussed a plot to kill Massachusetts officers and behead others, federal charges filed on Wednesday allege.

According to the 11-page criminal complaint, 26-year-old Usaamah Rahim had been planning to carry out a violent attack on Tuesday when he was approached by a team of Boston police officers and FBI agents.

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After Rahim refused to drop a knife and began to walk towards the officers, he was shot dead.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said on Wednesday that Rahim posed a “very serious threat” to the officers. 

Others have suggested that he may have been radicalized by online accounts sympathetic to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the weeks before his plot. 

In calls picked up by the government, Rahim and David Wright — who was arrested later on Tuesday — allegedly talked about beheading an unnamed target and then placing the head on their chest, consistent with some of the violent imagery used to great effect by extremist groups like ISIS. Seemingly in preparation for the attack, Rahim bought three “fighting” knives  — including one with a nearly 10-inch blade — and a knife sharpener from Amazon.com over the last week.

The two allegedly met with a third, unnamed person on a beach in Rhode Island to discuss the plan on Sunday.

At about 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Rahim told Wright that he “can’t wait that long” and would “go after” the “boys in blue” in Massachusetts, because “it’s the easiest target," the government said in its charges.

After that call, Wright allegedly told Rahim to destroy his phone and any other evidence in order to thwart investigators.

Police charged Wright with conspiring to destroy evidence and obstruct a national security investigation. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.