The accomplices of slain jihadi Usaama Rahim, who was killed by a Boston police officer and FBI agent when he charged them with a knife, have been charged by federal prosecutors with conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State.
“Prosecutors said that David Wright, 25, of Everett, Mass., and Nicholas Rovinski, 24, of Warwick, R.I., along with Rahim, had also discussed beheading Pamela Geller, the organizer of a Muhammad cartoon drawing contest in Texas in early May,” the Washington Post reports.
According to the FBI, Wright and Rahim drove from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to meet with Rovinski on May 31 and plan the assassination of Geller, unaware they were being monitored by FBI agents. A few days later, Rahim changed the plan and decided to go with the knife beheading of a police officer instead.
“After the shooting, prosecutors had charged Wright, Rahim’s nephew, with conspiracy to obstruct justice. The FBI said that Wright told Rahim to wipe clean his laptop computer and destroy his phone to help cover their tracks,” the Washington Post reports.
The Boston Globe adds that Rovinski “allegedly told FBI agents he was ‘at war’ with those who do not support the Islamic State and said he would support the killing of his own family if they did not submit to the militants’ rule.” Prosecutors moved for Rovinski’s detention on the grounds that he continued to pose a treat to public safety.
The Boston Globe cites charging documents which describe Wright as “the spiritual and intellectual leader of the alleged conspiracy,” and the agency of Usaama Rahim’s radicalization, which began about a year ago when Wright “introduced him to materials and documents related to the Islamic State.”
Wright was apparently successful at convincing Rahim that ISIS represented authentic Islam. He was equally successful at convincing recent Islamic convert Rovinski to become “an apparently fervent follower of the Islamic State,” after meeting him through Facebook.
Another charming tidbit about Rovinski is that he evidently thought the deadly May 12 crash of an Amtrak train near Philadelphia was a deliberate act of terrorism, which he applauded, posting a comment on an Internet video of the incident that declared, “Whoever crashed the train deserves a medal!”
For his part, Wright saw a larger purpose for himself than death in a suicide attack, although he approved of Rahim’s plans to kill police officers and Pamela Geller. “Wright asserted to the [FBI] agents that he intended to pursue the scholarly path while Rahim intended to join the fight,” the affidavit against him says.
The Boston Globe also reports that Usaama Rahim’s Muslim family is describing his fatal confrontation with police as an attempt to illegally arrest him, “without a warrant and in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” and calling on both U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Suffolk District Attorney General Daniel F. Conley to investigate.