Late Update: Boston Police Commissioner William Evans confirmed Geller was the unnamed initial target, the AP reported. “There was some mention of that name,” Evans said, but he dismissed it as “wishful thinking.”
The man shot and killed by law enforcement in Boston on Tuesday had allegedly planned to behead anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller, according to news reports.
Usaama Rahim had been under surveillance by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and authorities approached him on Tuesday because they believed that he was planning a separate attack on law enforcement officers, according to an affidavit by an FBI agent filed in federal court. Rahim, who authorities said was wielding a knife at the time, was killed in the confrontation with officers.
Rahim had purchased military fighting knives and discussed his plans to kill an unnamed individual outside of Massachusetts with another suspect, David Wright, according to the affidavit.
Wright later told FBI agents that Rahim originally planned the beheading, but later changed his mind and began plotting to “go after” the “boys in blue,” a reference to the police, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit did not mention who specifically Rahim planned to behead. But law enforcement officials told CNN and NBC that the target was Geller, whose group American Freedom Defense Initiative organized the Muhammad cartoon contest held in Garland, Texas in May. Two gunman were killed outside the event by police before they could carry out a suspected attack on attendees, authorities said.
According to NBC, law enforcement officials described Rahim’s plan to behead Geller as a “fantasy” and said that his plan to attack police officers was a more credible threat.
Geller responded to the reports that Rahim had been plotting to attack her on CNN Wednesday night.
“They targeted me for violating Sharia blasphemy laws. They mean to kill everyone who doesn’t do their bidding and abide by their law voluntarily,” she told CNN. “This is a showdown for American freedom. Will we stand against this savagery or bow down to them and silence ourselves?”
Geller told CNN that she had increased her security following the attack on the cartoon contest in Texas.
She told CBS News on Thursday that she is “the number one target for ISIS right now.”
Read the affidavit: