The man fatally shot by antiterrorism officers in Boston on Tuesday and the suspect arrested Tuesday night in Everett had conspired to kill a police officer, according to two law enforcement officials briefed on the case.
“We believe the intent was to behead a police officer,” one official said Wednesday morning. “We knew the plot had to be stopped. They were planning to take action Tuesday.”
The other official said Boston police and the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force were aware of the plot because of intelligence that had been gathered, and the suspects had been under surveillance for several weeks.
More details are expected to be released when the suspect from Everett, David Wright, appears in federal court in Boston Wednesday. His appearance is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., prosecutors said.
The Boston police and the FBI have declined comment on the specifics of the plot.
The man shot when he approached the officer and FBI agent with a machete and refused to back down, officials said.
Usaama Rahim, 26, was shot Tuesday in Boston’s Roslindale section by two Joint Terorism Task Force members — a Boston police officer and FBI agent —when he lunged at them with a menacing military knife, police said.
The shooting sparked an expanded investigation that quickly led to the arrest of Wright in Everett and a search in Rhode Island.
Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office, said that Wright was expected to appear in court Wednesday. She declined to provide any details of the charges against him, saying they would be filed in court.
“In the wake of yesterday’s incident and others like it around the world, Boston police officers have been advised to be on alert for unprovoked attacks on law enforcement officials,” a law enforcement official said.