BOSTON - Two men were charged with conspiring to help the Islamic state (IS) group by plotting with a Boston terror suspect to kill a conservative blogger known for provoking Muslims.
Nicholas Rovinski, 24, of Warwick, Rhode Island, made a brief appearance in federal court in Boston yesterday on a charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. David Wright, 25, of Massachusetts, was arrested last week.
Both men are accused of scheming with Usaama Rahim, 26, of Boston, who was killed last week by terror investigators who had him under 24-hour surveillance. Authorities say Rahim lunged at police with a military-style knife, but his family has questioned that account, noting a knife isn't seen in a grainy surveillance video cited by authorities.
Wright, Rahim's nephew, told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) he met Rovinski about a year ago through Facebook, and they began communicating, according to an affidavit.
The affidavit says the three men initially planned to behead a political activist whom law enforcement officials have identified as Pamela Geller, whose campaign has irked Muslims.
Both Rovinski and Wright are scheduled to appear in court for a detention hearing June 19. Prosecutors said yesterday that they would ask for Rovinski to be held without bail until his trial because he poses a "significant threat" to public safety.
Wright and Rovinski told authorities that during a meeting with Rahim on May 31, they discussed plans to behead Geller, according to the affidavit. Two days later, Rahim called Wright and told him in a recorded conversation that he had "changed plans" and now wanted to attack "those boys in blue," referring to police, either that day or the following day, the affidavit states.
About two hours after that conversation, Rahim was approached in a parking lot by Boston police officers and FBI agents. He was shot and killed after he refused commands to drop his knife, responding, "you drop yours," the affidavit says.