The Boston police officer and FBI agent who shot and killed a man suspected in a terror plot last year have been found justified in using deadly force and no charges will be filed.
Usaamah Rahim, 26, of Boston's Roslindale neighborhood was shot and killed on June 2, 2015 by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force after allegedly lunging at investigators with a knife when they approached him and about recorded phone conversations.
"The evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Rahim was armed with a large, military-style knife and posed the threat of death or serious bodily injury to the task force officers," Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said at a Wednesday afternoon media briefing. "Their use of deadly force was a lawful exercise of self defense and defense of others."
Rahim allegedly plotted with two others to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller, who organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas. They abandoned that plot in favor of one where they attacked police officers.
The FBI said they confronted Rahim because he had bought knives and talked of an imminent attack on "boys in blue."
"There is no question that members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force had probable cause to arrest Mr. Rahim," Conley said. "Knowing what they know and knowing what they now know about his plans for that day, they had the duty to stop him before he could act."
The two other men - Nicholas Rovinski of Warwick, Rhode Island, and David Wright of Everett, Massachusetts - were indicted on conspiracy and terrorism charges in connection with the alleged plot and are being held without bail. They are scheduled to face trial sometime next year.
Conley said he met with Rahim's family earlier Wednesday to inform them he would not be seeking criminal charges against the officers. He also released his office's 770-page investigative file to the family.
The district attorney also met with members of the local Islamic community on Wednesday, and said he made it clear that Rahim was being investigated "for his actions, not for his faith."
Rahim's family held their own press conference later Wednesday afternoon, saying they still have concerns about the shooting despite the district attorney's report, feeling that more could have been done to de-escalate the situation.
Family spokesman Ronald Sullivan said Rahim "was the subject of an illegal arrest," and cited comments by Congressman Stephen Lynch and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans after the shooting that implied that police were under orders not to let him go.
"This illegal arrest was the first call in a series of events that led to Usaamah's untimely death," he said.
He also connected Rahim's death "to the many tragic police-involved shootings of other African-American men around this country," saying it was not an isolated event.