Man Fatally Shot Under Terror Surveillance Allegedly Planned Beheading of Police Officer


BOSTON—A man who was fatally shot by antiterrorism investigators Tuesday was believed to have been planning to behead a police officer, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Usaama Rahim was suspected of sympathizing with Islamic State, a law-enforcement official said. Mr. Rahim was shot about 7:20 a.m. on Tuesday in the parking lot of a drugstore in the city’s Roslindale neighborhood.

Authorities believe that a second man—identified as David Wright, arrested Tuesday night in Everett, Mass.—was also involved in the alleged plot to harm a police officer, said the law-enforcement official. Mr. Wright is expected to appear in Boston federal court Wednesday. It is not known if he is represented by counsel.

The shooting occurred after an officer and a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent decided to approach Mr. Rahim, 26, seeking to question him, officials said. At that point, he approached the officer and the agent with a large “military knife” and refused to drop the weapon, the Boston Police Department said.

Relatives of Mr. Rahim, who authorities said lived in Roslindale, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The officer and agent were part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and consists of investigators from local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies who work together on investigations.

The JTTF had been monitoring Mr. Rahim for a number of days as part of its tracking of suspected sympathizers of the militant group, according to the person familiar with the investigation.

Federal and local officials speaking at a news conference in Boston declined to provide details on why Mr. Rahim was under 24-hour surveillance.

“We believed he was a threat. He was someone we were watching for quite a time,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. “The level of alarm brought us to question him today. I don’t think anyone expected the reaction we got out of him.”

A spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, a large mosque in the Roxbury neighborhood, said Tuesday that Mr. Rahim worked there briefly as a security guard in 2013 and may have attended the mosque, but not regularly.

Authorities said they had become concerned about recent threatening comments Mr. Rahim had made online suggesting he might attack police officers, according to the person familiar with the investigation.

Other people linked to Mr. Rahim also were being scrutinized by terrorism investigators as possible Islamic State supporters, and authorities were conducting searches Tuesday of at least one residence in the region linked to Mr. Rahim and his associates, the person added.

During the past year, federal authorities have made multiple arrests across the country of Americans suspected of sympathizing with or planning to join Islamic State.


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