Boston Shooting: Suspect Plotted to Behead Pamela Geller, Sources Say

Ray Sanchez et al., CNN, June 3, 2015

Usaamah Rahim, who was fatally shot after waving a military knife at law enforcement officers in Boston, was originally plotting to behead Pamela Geller, an activist and conservative blogger, law enforcement sources told CNN on Wednesday.

But Rahim, a 26-year-old security guard who officials believe was radicalized by ISIS and other extremists, decided instead to target the “boys in blue,” a reference to police, according to court documents.

“I can’t wait that long,” he said of the original beheading plan, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Boston.

Rahim

Geller drew national attention last month after an off-duty police officer working security thwarted an attack at her organization’s contest for Prophet Mohammed drawings in Garland, Texas. {snip}

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About two hours before Rahim’s confrontation Tuesday with officers on a Boston street, he allegedly told an associate he was “going to . . . go after them, those boys in blue. ‘Cause . . . it’s the easiest target,” the documents say.

Rahim’s alleged associate, David Wright, 25, appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston to face a charge of obstructing a federal investigation by destroying electronic evidence on Rahim’s smartphone. A detention hearing was scheduled for June 19 after prosecutors said he was a flight risk.

Wright allegedly attempted to destroy Rahim’s cell phone and conceal evidence of their plans, according to the documents. Wright faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted.

Rahim purchased three military fighting knives with blades longer than 8 inches on Amazon.com, the court documents said.

“I just got myself a nice little tool,” Rahim allegedly told his associate, according to the court documents. “You know it’s good for carving wood and . . . carving sculptures.”

In a recorded conversation, the two men are then heard laughing. {snip}

Under the alias “Abu Sufyaan,” Rahim thanked his nephew, “Dawud Sharif Abdul-Khaliq,” an alias of Wright, for witnessing his wedding, according to a 2013 Facebook post.

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Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said surveillance video shows four or five officers approach Rahim without their weapons drawn. The officers backtrack as he comes after them and gets “close enough to cause imminent harm.” They eventually draw their weapons and open fire.

“We never anticipated what his reaction would be and that he would pull out . . . a military knife and approach the officers,” Evans said.

Anti-terrorism authorities had Rahim under 24-hour surveillance, said Vincent B. Lisi, FBI special agent in charge.

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Authorities showed the surveillance video of the incident during an unusual meeting with religious and civil rights leaders in an attempt to allay community concerns about the shooting.

Rahim was not on the phone at the time of the shooting and was not shot in the back, as had been reported by a relative, according to clergy and civic leaders who met with authorities earlier Wednesday.

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Rahim’s brother has posted on social media that the suspect was on the phone with their father and was shot three times in the back during the confrontation with police.

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