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Man in Boston terrorism probe faces charges, report alleges beheading plan

In this Tuesday, June 2, 2015 photo, law enforcement officials lift a knife that was believed to be held by Usaama Rahim, who police shot earlier in the day on Washington Street, in Boston's Roslindale neighborhood. (Mark Garfinkel/Boston Herald via AP)

BOSTON: A Massachusetts man detained under a terrorism probe faces charges in federal court on Wednesday, federal prosecutors said, as local media reported the man and an associate who police shot dead on Tuesday had planned to try to behead a police officer.

Police arrested the man, named as David Wright by a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz, in Everett, outside Boston. He is due to face charges at 3:30 p.m. (1930 GMT), officials said.

Officers working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force earlier shot and killed Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, who had been under 24-hour surveillance, after police say he confronted them with a knife.

The pair had planned to try to behead a police officer on Tuesday, the Boston Globe reported, citing a law enforcement official briefed on the case. The report could not immediately be confirmed.

Police have offered little detail on why Rahim was being watched or what charges Wright would face.

Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's counterterrorism division, discussed the investigation at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday but offered few details.

"There's not a lot I can say on the intelligence side," Steinbach said. "We know ISIL has put out a message to attack the West, specifically law enforcement, military," referring to Islamic State militants.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, local FBI officials and prosecutors met on Wednesday with leaders of the Roslindale neighborhood where the shooting occurred to show them video of the incident.

"The individual was not shot in the back and the information that was reported by others that this was the case is inaccurate," said Darnell Williams, chief executive of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, after the meeting. "We are going to have to wait until after the investigation is completed until there is a determination whether it was a justifiable shooting."

Rahim had been under 24-hour surveillance by Tuesday, when new information learned by police led them to attempt to question him, Evans said.

"We never anticipated what his reaction would be," Evans told reporters.

The video, which Evans said showed the officers backing up before opening fire, was not released publicly.

The apparently foiled attack came six months after two New York City police officers were shot dead in their patrol car in an attack intended as retribution for police killings of unarmed black men.

 

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