U.S. authorities have charged two men for plotting to help the Islamic State militant group kill U.S. citizens, including plans to target Boston police officers.
A U.S. Justice Department statement named the accused as David Wright, 25, of Everett, Massachusetts, and Nicholas Rovinski, 24, of Warwick, Rhode Island. Rovinski appeared in federal court in Boston Friday; Wright was arrested last week.
"Wright and Rovinski are charged with conspiring with each other, unknown conspirators and Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, Wright’s uncle, who lived in Roslindale, Massachusetts, until his death on June 2, 2015," the statement said. "Rahim was shot and killed after he attacked law enforcement officers in a Roslindale parking lot."
The statement said all three men - Wright, Rovinski and Rahim - had been plotting to "commit attacks and kill persons inside the United States, which they believed would support [Islamic State's] objectives."
Targeted cartoon contest organizer
The suspects allegedly had planned to attack and behead a New York man who organized a controversial gathering in Texas recently that featured a cartoon contest lampooning the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Hopwever, that plan later was abandoned, U.S. authorities said.
"Rahim advised Wright that, instead, he intended to attack “those boys in blue” [meaning police officers] locally in Massachusetts," the Justice Department said. The attack, supposedly set for last month, apparently did not occur.
Friday's developments followed a court appearance outside Washington on Thursday of an American teenager who confessed that he tried to help Islamic State militants recruit supporters and raise funds.
Ali Shukri Amin, 17, pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group - offenses that carry a possible sentence of 15 years' imprisonment. The U.S. Department of Justice said Amin also admitted helping another young American travel to Syria earlier this year to join Islamic State fighters.
The U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John Carlin, said Amin used social media in his efforts on behalf of the Islamic State group. Carlin said Islamic extremists on "the other side of the world" are reaching out to young people in an attempt to "radicalize, recruit and incite" them to violence, and he called on parents and community leaders to confront and deter such threats.