The Slatest

Boston Man Killed Holding Knife Was Planning Beheading, Officials Say

The knife that Usaama Rahim is said to have threatened law enforcement officials with before being shot and killed.

Screen shot/CNN

On Tuesday, 26-year-old Usaama Rahim was shot and killed in Boston by a police officer and FBI agent after he allegedly threatened them with a knife when approached for questioning. On Wednesday anonymous officials told the Boston Globe that Rahim and another suspect (David Wright, arrested in the nearby city of Everett) were planning a gruesome imminent attack:

“We believe the intent was to behead a police officer,” one official said Wednesday morning. “We knew the plot had to be stopped. They were planning to take action Tuesday.”


The other official said Boston police and the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force were aware of the plot because of intelligence that had been gathered, and the suspects had been under surveillance for several weeks.

The officials did not say whether they suspect the knife Rahim is said to have used to threaten police—which has an 8-inch blade—was to be used in the planned crime.

A woman who spoke to the Globe said that Rahim and his wife stopped attending services at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center approximately two years ago because they felt the mosque was too liberal, though the Globe’s source said she had not believed the couple supported extremist violence.