Boston man with alleged terrorism ties shot dead by police

Boston+police+officers+and+detectives+investigate+at+the+scene+of+a+shooting+Tuesday+morning%2C+June+2%2C+2015%29+at+4600+Washington+St.+in+Roslindale%2C+Mass.+A+man+under+surveillance+by+terrorism+investigators+has+been+shot+and+killed+by+a+Boston+police+officer.+Police+Commissioner+William+Evans+confirmed+from+the+scene+that+the+man+shot+at+about+7+a.m.+at+a+pharmacy+in+the+city%27s+Roslindale+neighborhood+has+died.+Evans+said+the+man+was+under+surveillance+by+the+Joint+Terrorism+task+Force.++%28Mark+Garfinkel%2FThe+Boston+Herald+via+AP%29+

Boston police officers and detectives investigate at the scene of a shooting Tuesday morning, June 2, 2015) at 4600 Washington St. in Roslindale, Mass. A man under surveillance by terrorism investigators has been shot and killed by a Boston police officer. Police Commissioner William Evans confirmed from the scene that the man shot at about 7 a.m. at a pharmacy in the city's Roslindale neighborhood has died. Evans said the man was under surveillance by the Joint Terrorism task Force. (Mark Garfinkel/The Boston Herald via AP)

Maggie McVey

Boston police officers and detectives investigate at the scene of a shooting Tuesday morning, June 2, 2015) at 4600 Washington St. in Roslindale, Mass. A man under surveillance by terrorism investigators has been shot and killed by a Boston police officer. Police Commissioner William Evans confirmed from the scene that the man shot at about 7 a.m. at a pharmacy in the city's Roslindale neighborhood has died. Evans said the man was under surveillance by the Joint Terrorism task Force.  (Mark Garfinkel/The Boston Herald via AP)
Boston police officers and detectives investigate at the scene of a shooting Tuesday morning, June 2, 2015) at 4600 Washington St. in Roslindale, Mass. A man under surveillance by terrorism investigators has been shot and killed by a Boston police officer. Police Commissioner William Evans confirmed from the scene that the man shot at about 7 a.m. at a pharmacy in the city’s Roslindale neighborhood has died. Evans said the man was under surveillance by the Joint Terrorism task Force. (Mark Garfinkel/The Boston Herald via AP)

DENISE LAVOIE
Associated Press

BOSTON A man who had known extremist views and was under 24-hour surveillance by terrorism investigators lunged with a knife at a police officer and an FBI agent outside a pharmacy on Tuesday and was shot and killed, authorities said.

Police Commissioner Williams Evans said members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force approached Usaama Rahim in the city’s Roslindale neighborhood on Tuesday morning to question him about “terrorist-related information” they had received when he went at officers with a large military-style knife.

Evans said officers repeatedly ordered Rahim to drop the knife but he continued to move toward them with it. He said task force members fired their guns, hitting Rahim once in the torso and once in the abdomen. Rahim, 26, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Neither Evans nor the special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, Vincent Lisi, would say why Rahim was under surveillance, but Evans said a “level of alarm” prompted authorities to try to question him.

“Obviously, there was enough information there where we thought it was appropriate to question him about his doings,” Evans said. “He was someone we were watching for quite a time.”

Evans later said authorities knew Rahim “had some extremism as far as his views,” but he would not confirm media reports that Rahim had been radicalized by online propaganda by the Islamic State group. He declined to comment on reports Rahim had planned an attack on law enforcement on Tuesday.

The knife brandished by a man under surveillance by a joint terrorism task force who was shot and killed outside a pharmacy Tuesday is displayed during a news conference at the Boston Police Department Headquarters  Tuesday, June 2, 2015, in Boston. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
The knife brandished by a man under surveillance by a joint terrorism task force who was shot and killed outside a pharmacy Tuesday is displayed during a news conference at the Boston Police Department Headquarters Tuesday, June 2, 2015, in Boston. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Evans said the officers didn’t have their guns drawn when they approached Rahim. He said police have video showing Rahim “coming at officers” while they are backing away.

That account differs from one given by Rahim’s brother Ibrahim Rahim, who said in a Facebook posting that his youngest brother was killed while waiting at a bus stop 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.”

Ibrahim Rahim, a former assistant imam at a Boston mosque, could not immediately be reached for more comment Tuesday.

The Suffolk district attorney’s office and the FBI said they will investigate Rahim’s shooting, a routine procedure for shootings involving police.

The Council of American-Islamic Relations will monitor the investigation, spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.

“We have a number of questions,” Hooper said. “Why exactly was he being followed? What was the probable cause for this particular stop? Were there any video cameras or body cameras of the incident? How do you reconcile the two versions of the story, the family version being that he was on his normal commute to work at a bus stop?”

Boston voter registration records for Usaama Rahim list him as a student. Records indicate that as recently as two years ago he was licensed as a security officer in Miami but don’t specify in what capacity.

On Tuesday afternoon, authorities raided a home in suburban Everett in connection with the case. Everett police confirmed they assisted the FBI in taking a man into custody but said he was taken to Boston, a 10-minute drive away.

Authorities also were searching a home in Warwick, Rhode Island, but would not confirm that was linked to the Boston shooting.

The officer and the agent involved in the shooting weren’t physically injured but were evaluated at a hospital for what Evans described as “stress.”

Lisi said authorities “don’t think there’s any concern for public safety out there right now.”

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