2 charged with conspiring to help ISIS in Boston terror case

Nicholas Rovinski arrested following days of police surveillance

Nicholas Rovinski

BOSTON (AP) — A criminal complaint says two men are charged with conspiring to help the Islamic State group by plotting with a Boston terror suspect to kill U.S. citizens to support the group’s objectives.

Nicholas Rovinski, of Warwick, Rhode Island, was arrested Thursday. David Wright, of Everett, Massachusetts, was arrested last week.

Both men are charged with conspiring with Usaama Rahim, who was killed last week by terror investigators who had him under surveillance. Authorities say Rahim lunged at police with a military-style knife.

Rovinski and Wright were charged Friday with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

The criminal complaint says the men initially planned to behead a political activist whom law enforcement officials have identified as blogger Pamela Geller. But the complaint says Rahim later decided he would attack police.

In this courtroom sketch, David Wright, second from left, is depicted standing with his attorney Jessica Hedges, right, as Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley presides, left, during a hearing Wednesday, June 3, 2015, in federal court in Boston. Wright was ordered held Wednesday on a charge of conspiracy with intent to obstruct a federal investigation in the case of  Usaama Rahim, who while under surveillance by terrorism investigators, was killed after he lunged with a knife at a Boston police officer and an FBI agent. (Jane Flavell Collins via AP)
In this courtroom sketch, David Wright, second from left, is depicted standing with his attorney Jessica Hedges, right, as Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley presides, left, during a hearing Wednesday, June 3, 2015, in federal court in Boston. Wright was ordered held Wednesday on a charge of conspiracy with intent to obstruct a federal investigation in the case of Usaama Rahim, who while under surveillance by terrorism investigators, was killed after he lunged with a knife at a Boston police officer and an FBI agent. (Jane Flavell Collins via AP)

This is an update from the Associated Press, their original story is below.

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man was arrested Thursday in connection with the investigation into a man from Boston who was shot and killed by terrorism investigators as they sought to question him about a possible plot to kill police officers.

Nicholas Rovinski is expected to be in federal court Friday, when the charges against him will be announced, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s spokeswoman Christina DiIorio-Sterling said.

Rovinski, of Warwick, was taken into custody Thursday night without incident, Boston FBI office spokeswoman Kristen Setera said. Federal officials searched Rovinki’s house at least two days last week, but they wouldn’t discuss details of the search.

Rovinski couldn’t be reached for comment while in custody on Thursday night. A telephone call to his house rang unanswered, and a woman inside yelled through the front door to a reporter outside, “Get out of here.”

Federal authorities say Boston resident Usaama Rahim plotted for at least a week to attack police. An FBI affidavit supporting a criminal complaint against Rahim’s nephew David Wright says Rahim, Wright and another man met on a Rhode Island beach “to discuss their plans,” but it doesn’t identify the other man.

Rahim, who had been under surveillance, was confronted last week because he had bought knives and talked of an imminent attack on “boys in blue,” the FBI said.

The FBI said Rahim, who had previously discussed beheadings, bought three fighting knives and a sharpener on or before May 26 and told Wright he would begin trying to randomly kill police officers.

An anti-terror task force of FBI agents and Boston police officers, faced with an imminent threat, confronted Rahim on a sidewalk and fatally shot him when he refused to drop his knife, authorities said.

Boston police Commissioner William Evans said officers confronted Rahim because “military and law enforcement lives were at threat.” He said the officers “made the right call,” drawing their guns only after backing away and giving Rahim “multiple chances” to drop the military-style knife he was holding.

Rahim’s relatives have disputed investigators’ version of events, citing a blurry surveillance video released by police. They said the video showing the terror investigators fatally shooting him doesn’t show him brandishing a weapon or approaching officers aggressively. They said he was not the initial aggressor and did not appear to be breaking any laws as he walked toward a bus stop on his way to work on June 2.

Wright, of Everett, Massachusetts, was arrested last week on a charge of conspiracy with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. He’s in custody pending a June 19 hearing.

Prosecutors said he posed a serious risk of fleeing or obstructing justice if not held pending the hearing. But Wright’s attorney, Jessica Hedges, denied that, saying he has deep roots in the Boston area and an “incredibly loving and supportive family.”

Hedges urged the government to be “as transparent as possible” and “abide by the law” as it investigates this case, saying “we have serious concerns about that already.”

___

AP Legal Affairs Writer Denise Lavoie contributed to this report from Boston.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments are closed.