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Ray Flynn on Boston Terror Shooting: 'Police Weren't Intimidated'

By    |   Wednesday, 03 June 2015 08:40 PM

Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn told Newsmax Wednesday that the city's police shot and killed a knife-wielding terror suspect Tuesday night because they were confident that the man was a threat to their safety and the nation's security.

"Thank God that the police weren't intimidated," Flynn, who served the city from 1984 to 1993, said in an exclusive interview. "The Boston police weren't intimidated and weren't deterred from pursuing good leads on potential terrorists.

"The bottom line is that the public, the American people, have to support the police," he added. "They have to support the law-enforcement community — and they can't immediately turn on them as soon as some kind of incident or situation occurs."

Boston police fatally shot Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, of Boston, who confronted officers with a large knife. He had discussed plans to behead police officers with a relative, David Wright, 24, who was arrested the same day, according to federal court documents.

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

Rahim was allegedly conspiring with Wright to kill Pamela Geller, the Jewish activist who had organized a Mohammed cartoon competition last month that was attacked by two suspected jihadist gunmen in Garland, Texas, CNN reported Wednesday.

They had wounded a security guard before they were shot dead.

Regarding the beheadings, Rahim had allegedly told Wright, "I'm just going to, ah, go after them, those boys in blue." An FBI agent involved in the investigation disclosed the statement in an affidavit.

Wright was arrested and ordered held on a charge of conspiracy with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. He is accused of destroying electronic evidence on Rahim's smartphone, CNN reports.

Authorities would not disclose how Rahim and Wright were related.

Rahim had ordered three knives, with blades ranging in length from 8 inches to 9.75 inches, from online retailers before May 26 and had joked in recorded telephone conversations with Wright about "thinking with your head on your chest," according to the affidavit.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Joseph Galietta described that as "a reference to the practice of some foreign terrorist organizations to behead targets and place their heads on their chests in propaganda videos."

The Islamic State (ISIS) has released multiple videos over the past year depicting the apparent beheadings of captives, including several American and British journalists.
The FBI affidavit said Rahim initially told Wright about a plan to behead someone outside Massachusetts. On Sunday, Rahim, Wright and an unidentified man met on a beach in Rhode Island to "discuss their plans," the FBI affidavit said.

"Wright indicated that he agreed with Rahim's plan and supported it," the affidavit states.
Authorities searched a home in Warwick, Rhode Island, on Tuesday and Wednesday but would not confirm whether the search was related to the investigation.

Early Tuesday, however, Rahim called Wright and told him he had changed his plans and no longer planned to kill someone in another state, the affidavit says.

Instead, he said he was going to "go after" the "boys in blue," it says, an apparent reference to police officers.

Boston authorities have been on high alert since two ethnic Chechen brothers killed three people and injured 264 others with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

The surviving brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 21, was convicted of the attack last month and sentenced to death.

Flynn, who later spent four years as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, told Newsmax that Rahim's death had eerie parallels to the Boston bombings.

"They were both under surveillance and, fortunately in this case, the police followed up on it where in the Boston Marathon, the FBI didn't," he said. "It's a classic example of why you need a coordinated intelligence effort, which is critical."

However, "the public has to be far more alert and aware," Flynn added. "If they see something, they've got to say something. They've got to be alert — and there has to be training for counterterrorism intelligence.

"We've got a new challenge on our hands that I don't think Americans are prepared for, but it's our government that really has to inform and educate the public for some difficult days ahead.

"Then, maybe our country can't maintain this cavalier attitude of welcoming everybody in with no oversight and understanding of what they're up to."

He also praised Boston Police Commissioner William Evans for showing the video of the shooting to local African-American and Muslim community leaders.

Evans acted after Rahim's older brother, Ibrahim, posted a Facebook message alleging that his brother was repeatedly shot by police in the back while he was on a cellphone calling their father for help.

The video, which police did not make available publicly, shows that Rahim menaced the officers with a large military-style knife and they initially backed away before shooting him when he refused to drop it, the commissioner said at a Wednesday news conference.

Darnell Williams, president of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, said he could "150 percent corroborate" the police account.

The images clearly show that Usaama Rahim "was not on a cellphone and was not shot in the back," Williams said.

"People were screaming that he got shot in the back — and they were planning protests and demonstrations, which could turn ugly," Flynn told Newsmax. "But the police, very wisely, met with the community, community leaders — met with people from the Muslim mosque, and showed them the video.

"Transparency is key," he said. "That's why transparency in this case might have saved a lot of potential problems for the city of Boston.

"You don't want to give all the information, but you have to give that level of information that is necessary so that we can eliminate at the outset the troublemakers who are immediately inclined to call — to start shouting on their soap box — about police brutality and oppressive white American police officers," Flynn added. "Don’t allow that to happen."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn told Newsmax Wednesday that the city's police shot and killed a knife-wielding terror suspect Tuesday night because they were confident that the man was a threat to their safety and the nation's security.
ray flynn, boston, terror, shooting, police
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 08:40 PM
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