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FBI: Boston Terror Suspect Had Planned to Behead Police Officers

  • VOA News

Boston Police Department in Boston, Massachusetts shows the knife brandished by suspect Usaama Rahim, June 2, 2015.

Boston Police Department in Boston, Massachusetts shows the knife brandished by suspect Usaama Rahim, June 2, 2015.

U.S. authorities say a man shot and killed by police in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this week had planned to randomly behead police officers in the northeastern state.

The FBI said 26-year-old Usaama Rahim, who was under 24-hour surveillance, had previously discussed plans with two other men to travel out of state and behead a random stranger, and had ordered three hunting knives as part of his plan. But by last Tuesday morning, Rahim had changed his mind, telling one of the men, 24-year-old David Wright, that he would remain in Massachusetts and "go after... those boys in blue," a common reference to police officers.

Hours later, a team of FBI agents and Boston police officers confronted Rahim outside a drug store, where he was shot after the FBI said he pulled a knife on the officers and lunged at them.

The details were included in court papers filed in the arrest of Wright who has been charged with conspiracy with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. The FBI said Wright, who was arrested hours after Rahim was shot to death, urged Rahim to destroy his cellphone and delete information from his computer.

Their phone conversations included Rahim using the phrase "thinking with your head on your chest," which authorities say is a reference to overseas terrorist groups beheading hostages and placing their severed heads on their bodies.

Authorities showed video of the confrontation that led to Rahim's death to Muslim and African American community leaders Wednesday, after Rahim's family claimed police shot him in the back. The FBI said the video showed the officers withdrawing as Rahim menaced them with the knife, and only opened fire after he refused to put down his weapon.

A local civil rights leader and a Muslim cleric told reporters, after seeing the video, that Rahim was not shot in the back.

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