Boston Police, FBI Fatally Shoot Alleged Terror Suspect
BOSTON, June 2 (UPI) — A 26-year-old man who was under 24-hour surveillance by anti-terrorism investigators was fatally shot by a Boston police officer and an FBI agent Tuesday, authorities said.
Usaama Rahim was shot and killed after waving a large military knife at law enforcement, officials said. He had been under surveillance for at least two years by the U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force Police Commissioner William B. Evans said Rahim was a continued threat, but would not go into detail.
“He was someone we were watching for quite a time,” Evans said. “The level of alarm brought us to question him today. I don’t think anybody expected the reaction we got out of him.”
Rahim’s brother Ibrahim, an imam in California, said his brother was shot three times in the back while on the phone with their father at a bus stop.
“His last words to my father who heard the shots were, ‘I can’t breathe!,’ Rahim said on his Facebook page.
The Islamic Society of Boston said police and Muslim leaders will meet Wednesday to watch surveillance video of the shooting.
“As religious institutions serving the Boston Muslim community, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) and Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) leadership are saddened to hear of the shooting of Usaama Rahim,” the statement said. “This tragedy has yielded many important questions that merit additional attention and while we cannot expect all questions to be answered our hope is that greater clarity and transparency will bring some peace to our congregation and the Boston community at large.”
The FBI-led task force had been watching Rahim and two others thought to be radicalized by the Islamic State and other extremists, officials said. The FBI said they approached Rahim on Tuesday after his behavior began to change, including social media threats to police. Evans said Rahim was shot about 7 a.m. Tuesday. Officials said police and FBI agents approached him in a CVS parking lot, but Rahim lunged at them with the knife. That differs from Rahim’s brother’s account of the shooting.
“Unfortunately, he came at the officers and, you know, they do what they were trained to do and, unfortunately, they had to take a life,” Evans said.