A lawyer for the family of a man killed by terrorism investigators in Boston earlier this week said Thursday they were shocked by accusations that he was radicalized by extremists and were under no suspicion that had been the case.
Usaamah Rahim, 26, was shot and killed Tuesday after authorities say he lunged toward them with a large knife that he bought on the Internet. An FBI affidavit filed Wednesday stated Rahim had initially planned to behead someone outside Massachusetts, but later changed his mind to “go after” the “boys in blue” instead, a reference that officials took to mean police. The document states Rahim discussed his plans with at least two people, including 26-year-old David Wright, who was charged Wednesday with conspiring to conceal or destroy evidence.
Earlier on Thursday, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told NBC that Rahim was allegedly plotting to behead conservative blogger and anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller. But Evans called the idea “wishful thinking.”
“The family is unaware of any radicalization,” Ronald Sullivan, an attorney for Rahim’s family and a Harvard Law professor, said during a news conference. Sullivan said the family is ready and willing to “enter into a joint relationship with investigators to get to the truth.” Rahim’s private burial was scheduled for Friday.