U.S. prosecutors charged two New England men on Friday with plotting to help the militant Islamist group Islamic State by beheading Americans, following an investigation that led law enforcement officers to shoot a suspect dead last week in Boston.
The men, Nicholas Rovinski, 24, of Rhode Island, and David Wright, 25, of Massachusetts, are accused of making plans with Wright’s uncle, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, to kill the organizer of a Mohammed cartoon exhibit that took place in Texas in May, and later to target Massachusetts police, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Prosecutors say that “beginning at a date unknown but no later than May 2015, Wright, Rovinski and Rahim conspired to commit attacks and kill persons inside the United States, which they believed would support ISIL’s objectives.”
ISIL stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The group controls vast swaths of both Syria and Iraq.
Police shot 26-year-old Rahim dead last Tuesday when FBI agents and a Boston police officer approached him in a parking lot to question him, and he threatened them with a large knife. Law enforcement officials had wire-tapped his phone calls, which revealed he was planning to behead police officers.
Rovinski was arrested at his home on Thursday night, and will appear in court Friday afternoon. Wright was already in custody after being arrested last week on lesser charges.
(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis, Editing by Franklin Paul and Andrew Hay)