An Interesting Day in Boston

 

Last week, an FBI agent and a number of Boston police officers shot and killed Usaamah Rahim, whom they’d been investigating as a jihadi terrorist. According to the charges against his accomplice and nephew, Rahim had recently pulled out of a larger plot in favor of simply murdering and attacking a random BPD officer (the investigators had been tapping his phones). Police went to confront him on Tuesday, and he attacked them with a 7″ knife and was shot dead. The shooting was recorded by a nearby store security camera, whose footage has been reviewed by local religious leaders who have overwhelmingly said that it corroborates the investigators’ account that they only opened fire after Rahim charged them. The footage was just released within the past hour.

The story has a number of interesting angles. First, it seems to further corroborate my theory that domestic Islamic terrorists can be effectively divided into two categories: zombies (such as Rahim and the two idiots who unsuccessfully attacked Pamella Geller last month) who are typified by impulsiveness, poor discipline, low skills, and lack of any direct ties to international organizations; and vampires (e.g., the Kouachi brothers from the Charlie Hebdo attack) who are patient, careful, highly skilled, and who often receive direct support and training from overseas. Like their undead namesakes, each type has different strengths and weakness, and likely require different approaches to subvert and destroy.

Second, Rahim’s brother unsuccessfully tried to insert a racial angle into the story (the Rahims are black). Shortly after his brother’s death, Ibrahim Rahim, an imam based in California, tweeted “Pray4 my younger brother Usaama Rahim shot 3 X in his back by Boston Police then dying His last words I can’t breathe” and posted a similar message on Facebook. He subsequently retracted and deleted both statements — which apparently are entirely false — but has neither apologized nor explained the calumny.

Third, it’s yet to be revealed how authorities came to learn about Rahim’s intentions before gaining permission to tap his phone. Given the recent debates about bulk surveillance, it will be interesting to see what role — if any — such programs played in the investigation.

Lastly — and, again, stipulating that we’re still learning details — the BPD appears to have handled the aftermath of the shooting very skillfully and maturely. Very shortly after the shooting, they announced that there was surveillance footage, and explained that it would be released to the general public after being viewed by various religious leaders and the family, and providing (and keeping) a timetable for all.

It’s going to be an interesting day, here.

There are 11 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    ” Shortly after his brother’s death, Ibrahim Rahim, an imam based in California . .”

    Hope they’ve got some surveillance aimed at this gentle giant.

    • #1
  2. AUMom Member
    AUMom
    @AUMom

    Trink:”

    Hope they’ve got some surveillance aimed at this gentle giant.

    I bet they do now.

    • #2
  3. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    …require different approaches to subvert and destroy.

    I’m happy to skip the subvert part.  Carefully identify beforehand, certainly.  Extract whatever intel value the miscreant has.  Sure.  Then proceed.

    Eric Hines

    • #3
  4. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Why was the footage needing to be reviewed by religious leaders?

    • #4
  5. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Ryan M:Why was the footage needing to be reviewed by religious leaders?

    I’m not sure “need” is the right word, but the impression I’ve gotten is that they thought it was an effective way to defuse the situation Imam Rahim had created without seeming vindictive.

    If I’m reading that right, that was pretty smart.

    • #5
  6. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    Ryan M:Why was the footage needing to be reviewed by religious leaders?

    I’m not sure “need” is the right word, but the impression I’ve gotten is that they thought it was an effective way to defuse the situation Imam Rahim had created without seeming vindictive.

    If I’m reading that right, that was pretty smart.

    It makes sense, but I still find the wording somewhat odd.  The reason I was asking is not because I’m skeptical, necessarily, but because it just doesn’t seem to be expanded on anywhere.  I mean, are the religious leaders people who are directly associated with this guy, or are we having to appease these sorts of folks any time there is any sort of Islam-related terrorism incident out of fear of rioting, etc…?  Kind of like having to lick Al Sharpton’s boots whenever race is even an unrelated component.  Then again, if we’re involving religious leaders, is it undisputed that this was religiously motivated, or is it possible that this was simply workplace violence?

    • #6
  7. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    I agree that it was savvy to show the footage to “religious leaders” (gee, I wonder, of what religion?), but I’m not sure that it’s a good precedent. (And if I’m shot by police, will they show the video to my Methodist pastor? Somehow, I think not.)

    I also agree that the “zombies and vampires” analogy is a useful shorthand, but some individuals fall in between those categories, such as the infamous “shoe bomber.”

    • #7
  8. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Johnny Dubya:I agree that it was savvy to show the footage to “religious leaders” (gee, I wonder, of what religion?), but I’m not sure that it’s a good precedent. (And if I’m shot by police, will they show the video to my Methodist pastor? Somehow, I think not.)

    Though I vaguely recalled a somewhat broader group, most of the named figures appear to be either imams or pastors of black churches. Short version: you appear to be correct; I didn’t realize I was using a euphemism.

    Johnny Dubya:I also agree that the “zombies and vampires” analogy is a useful shorthand, but some individuals fall in between those categories, such as the infamous “shoe bomber.”

    Sometimes, vampires hire zombies.

    • #8
  9. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Black churches… So the brother lies in a manner clearly designed to invoke racial anger (“I can’t breathe”), and we are licking the boots of Al Sharpton. I agree that it is a bad precedent.

    • #9
  10. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Tom,

    You seem to continue to make the mistake of taking your own psychological predetermined concepts and projecting them. All of these actors are Jihadist. Their level of belief-indoctrination is manifest. Some are more intelligent and better educated than others. The more intelligent and better educated are capable of more planning. The real question is so what?

    You do realize that when the Hebdo attackers were cornered they fought to the death also. What makes them different then this guy pulling the knife?

    I don’t think the issue is phone survaillance though this will be very interesting test of that issue. I think the issue is whether it is legal to preach Jihad in the USA period. Once you accept that it is OK to preach Jihad then the results are inevitable. Someone will absorb the poison and wind up acting on it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
  11. user_656019 Coolidge
    user_656019
    @RayKujawa

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Third, it’s yet to be revealed how authorities came to learn about Rahim’s intentions before gaining permission to tap his phone. Given the recent debates about bulk surveillance, it will be interesting to see what role — if any — such programs played in the investigation.

    If we were in an actual war, such methods of uncovering information on the intentions of our enemies — who want us dead — would be kept from the general public, with justification.

    Are we at war?

    • #11

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.