BOSTON, June 12 (UPI) -- Two New England men were charged Friday with providing material support to aid the Islamic State, regarding a plot to kill a Boston police officer.
David Wright and Nicholas Rovinski are accused of helping IS suspect Usaama Rahim, 26, in the plot. The plan was allegedly developed by Rahim after his first idea, beheading anti-Islam organizer Pamela Geller, was considered too complex and time consuming.
Wright, 25, and Rovinski, 24, who were arrested June 2 and June 11, respectively, supposedly met with Rahim to discuss both plots, prosecutors say.
The FBI said the three met on May 31 to discuss killing Geller, but didn't realize their conversation was being monitored by agents. In another recorded discussion, Rahim allegedly said he was planning to kill the "boys in blue."
Earlier on June 2, Rahim was shot to death in a parking lot after officials say he threatened FBI agents and Boston police officers with a large knife.
Investigators say authorities had been looking into Rahim's activities for about two years, which led to the parking lot confrontation.
Prosecutors theorize that Rahim, 26, believed an attack inside the United States would be beneficial to the Islamic State terror group. One of the reasons he gave up on the Geller plot, authorities say, was because he wanted to carry out his attack as quickly as possible.
Wright allegedly told Rahim to cover his electronic tracks by wiping clean his computer and destroying his phone, so that authorities couldn't acquire the incriminating evidence against them.
One of the main reasons the three wanted to kill Geller, an affidavit says, was over a "Draw Muhammad" contest in Texas earlier this year that she organized. The issue of denigrating Muhammad, a prophet in the Muslim faith, has been at the center of multiple other terror plots in the past -- incidents that various plotters believed to be blasphemous.
Rovinski, who converted to Islam only two years ago, posted a gleeful comment on a social media page earlier this year about the derailment of a commuter train in Philadelphia, the affidavit said.
The American Civil Liberties Union has somewhat come to the defense of both men, saying that simply possessing violent ideologies is not a crime.
"This strategy creates a real risk that juries will convict people not because of their violent actions or plans, but instead because of their offensive ideologies," ACLU-Massachusetts legal director Matthew Segal said in a report by the New York Times Friday.
Rahim's family has echoed concerns of its own, as well, claiming that "federal and local law enforcement attempted an unlawful, warrantless arrest" of Rahim prior to his death.