Watch CBS News

2 Men In Boston Terror Probe Allegedly Planned To Kill "Boys In Blue"

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The two men identified in a terrorism investigation in Boston allegedly planned to behead a police officer, sources told WBZ-TV Wednesday.

A law enforcement source confirmed to CBS News that Usaamah Rahim and David Wright were ISIS supporters and were motivated by a desire to exact revenge on America, similar to the Tsarnaev brothers.

Read: Criminal Complaint Against David Wright

The men were actively plotting multiple attacks on law enforcement, even including the possible beheading of police officers, the CBS source said, adding that the two were discussing attack plans on social media.

Usaamah Rahim
Usaamah Rahim's Brookline High School yearbook photo (WBZ-TV)

According to court documents, Rahim recently bought three "fighting knives" and a knife sharpener and talked to Wright about plans to kill someone outside of Massachusetts.

On Sunday, May 31, Rahim, Wright and a third person met on a beach in Rhode Island to discuss their plans. Wright would later tell FBI agents that these plans included the beheading of somebody in another state.

CNN reports Rahim had originally plotted to kill political activist Pamela Geller.

At approximately 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2, authorities say Rahim called Wright and told him that he had changed his plans, and now wanted to "go after" the "boys in blue" in Massachusetts.

During this conversation, Rahim allegedly revealed to Wright that he planned to randomly kill police officers in Massachusetts either on Tuesday or Wednesday.

David Wright
David Wright. (Facebook Photo)

Wright then allegedly directed Rahim to delete information from and destroy his smartphone and wipe his laptop.

Wright was taken into custody at his home in Everett Tuesday afternoon, hours after a Boston police officer and an FBI agent shot and killed Rahim, 26, who was under 24-hour surveillance by terrorism investigators in Roslindale.

Wright allegedly told investigators that Rahim told him about the plan and he supported it. He was arraigned in federal court on conspiracy charges Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators are continuing to look for other people both men were communicating with.

After the hearing Wednesday, Wright's attorney and the Muslim Justice League accused authorities of breaking the law.

"We're particularly concerned to have heard that the defendant was denied access to his counsel when the counsel was trying to locate him and when she was outside the house where he was being interrogated," said Shannon Irwin of the Muslim Justice League.


Usaama Rahim was originally plotting to behead a private citizen in another state, according to court documents.

According to CNN, the original target was supposed to be Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger who has also organized controversial events like the Garland, Texas exhibit displaying drawings of the Prophet Mohammed.

Geller told CNN she was not told of the specific threat.

Pamela Geller
Pamela Geller ahead of an anti-Islam demonstration in Stockholm, on August 4, 2012. (Photo credit FREDRIK PERSSON/AFP/GettyImages)


Boston police said surveillance video shows Rahim with a large military-style knife lunging at a police officer and an FBI agent in a CVS parking lot in Roslindale Tuesday morning before he was shot and killed — an account his brother has disputed.

Investigators showed the video to local clergy and civil rights leaders Wednesday and they agreed it appears to contradict Rahim's brother's claim of what happened.

But one Boston Muslim leader called the video "inconclusive."

Imam Abdullah Farooq says it showed Rahim wasn't shot in the back, but the quality was poor and it wasn't clear whether police had to use deadly force.

BPD Meeting
Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans leads a meeting with community leaders before watching the surveillance video Wednesday. (Media pool Photo)

The video has not been shown yet to the media or the public.

A federal law enforcement source told CBS News Rahim had been on investigators' radar for several months and was recently under 24-hour surveillance.

He had allegedly become radicalized and inspired by ISIS' online propaganda and the belief is he wanted to attack law enforcement. Investigators wanted to question him after he started acting differently Tuesday morning.

In the parking lot they moved in before he could make it to a bus. A source told CBS News Rahim was about to get on the bus and investigators wanted to prevent that from happening.

The surveillance video from a nearby restaurant across the street shows what happened next, according to investigators.

Boston police say the man killed in an officer-involved shooting had this military-style knife (WBZ-TV)

Rahim allegedly pulled out the knife, officers repeatedly ordered him to drop it, according to Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans, but he continued to move toward them with it.

He said the officers fired their guns, hitting Rahim three times. He was rushed to Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he died.


Rahim worked for CVS since March 2015, according to company spokesman Mike DeAngelis.

"The Roslindale CVS/pharmacy was not open during the time of the incident involving Mr. Rahim and no other employees or customers were involved. We are fully cooperating with the authorities in this matter," DeAngelis said in a statement to WBZ-TV Wednesday.

Boston voter registration records for Usaama Rahim list him as a student. Records indicate that as recently as two years ago he was licensed as a security officer in Miami but don't specify in what capacity.

Yusufi Vali, executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, said the center's security firm hired Rahim as a security guard for a month in mid-2013. Vali said Rahim did not regularly pray at the center and did not volunteer there or serve in any leadership positions.

Wright was a student at Bunker Hill Community College from Fall 2010 to Spring 2011 with a general concentration major, according to school spokeswoman Karen Norton.


A law enforcement source told CBS News that FBI and Rhode Island State police conducted a court-authorized search of a home in Rhode Island as part of the investigation Wednesday.

WBZ-TV's Jim Armstrong reports

Shortly after Rahim was killed, federal agents and RI State Police showed up at a house on Aspinet Drive in Warwick. Neighbors said officers went into the house with their weapons drawn, but no shots were fired.

The neighbors said a man in his late 20's has lived in the house for quite some time. According to them, the man recently grew a beard, and started wearing robes and acting strange.

There have been no arrests and no one is in custody in the Warwick probe.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.