On Tuesday morning, a 26-year-old Muslim man named Usaama Rahim was shot and killed by FBI and Boston law enforcement officials after allegedly drawing a knife during a confrontation. An FBI agent says Rahim had been under 24-hour surveillance as the subject of an “ongoing” investigation; Boston’s police chief says the investigation was terrorism-related and that Rahim was considered a “threat” who was being approached for questioning near a CVS pharmacy when he suddenly drew the weapon. From the Boston Globe:
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said his office would investigate to determine whether the officer and agent were justified in using deadly force. While stressing that no final conclusion has been reached yet, Conley said the incident was captured by surveillance video, which appeared to show Rahim was the aggressor …
“The officers approached this individual without their firearms drawn,’’ Conley said. “It was this deceased person who drew that knife. It appears [law enforcement officials were] backing away before they exercised deadly force.’’
Rahim’s older brother, however, disputes this account.
In a Facebook posting Tuesday, Ibrahim Rahim asked for prayers and said his brother was killed while waiting at a bus stop in Boston to go to his job.
“He was confronted by three Boston Police officers and subsequently shot in the back three times,” he wrote. “He was on his cell phone with my dear father during the confrontation needing a witness.”
It’s not clear how the elder Rahim, who is said to be “an imam at a mosque in the San Francisco area,” arrived at his account of events. He said the family would release a statement on Usaama Rahim’s death at some point in the future; a spokesman for the Council of American-Islamic Relations also said that his group would monitor the official investigation into the incident.