Family of slain terror suspect calls for transparent investigation

BOSTON (AP/WPRI) — The lawyer for the family of Boston terror suspect Usaamah Rahim says the authorities who fatally shot him didn’t have a warrant, and he’s calling for a thorough and transparent investigation.

Attorney Ronald Sullivan is urging “a joint effort to search for the truth” into Rahim’s shooting by an anti-terrorism task force. Sullivan held a news conference Thursday at the scene of the shooting in Roslindale, along with Rahim’s family and Boston Muslim leader Imam Abdullah Faruuq.

Rahim was killed Tuesday after investigators approached him to question him. Authorities say he lunged with a knife at members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and ignored warnings to drop the weapon.

Authorities say Rahim and his nephew had discussed beheading blogger Pamela Geller and later talked about killing police officers.

According to a complaint unsealed Wednesday, Rahim, David Wright and an unnamed third person met at a beach in Warwick “in inclement weather, to discuss their plans” on Sunday. It was near a home on Aspinet Drive, which the FBI and Rhode Island State Police had blocked off for about 30 hours this week as they conducted court-authorized activity as part of an ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation.

Faaruuq challenged the use of deadly force by investigators, calling Rahim’s shooting “reckless.”

Faaruuq said “you can capture elephants, lions and tigers without killing them,” and police should have been able to subdue Rahim without fatally shooting him.

A woman identifying herself as Rahim’s aunt expressed anger over the death of her nephew, saying he had a reason to feel threatened prior to the shooting.

“With the current slaughter of black men going on across the nation, that is enough to make any and all black men feel threatened,” she said.

Rahim was being surveilled around the clock after buying three knives on Amazon.com, but authorities have yet to make public any evidence that he and his nephew actually used the word “beheading.”

The family didn’t speak at Thursday’s news conference. Sullivan said relatives are waiting for more evidence “in order to form a reasoned and informed opinion.”

Rahim’s elder brother, an imam, and his mother stood with the lawyer, and planned to view a video of the shooting later in the afternoon.

Sullivan says Imam Ibrahim Rahim was mistaken when he initially claimed that his younger brother had been shot in the back. He says Ibrahim Rahim was relying on third-hand information, and “We now know we simply did not have all the facts.”

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


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