A man who was shot and killed in Boston's Roslindale neighborhood Tuesday morning after police say he lunged with a knife at an officer and an FBI agent was being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, law enforcement confirms.
Officials told NBC News the officer and agent had been investigating whether the man had become radicalized by ISIS-inspired social media messages.
Police said Usaama Abdullah Rahim, 26, of Roslindale, was the individual shot by law enforcement. He was being monitored by the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Law enforcement officials took a suspect into custody after searching a house on Linden Street in Everett later Tuesday. A senior source said this address and possibly an individual or individuals at the address are of interest to the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Authorities confirm the FBI and Rhode Island State Police are searching a house on Aspinet Drive in Warwick. The FBI did not confirm any arrests, but said there was no threat to public safety. Necn's affiliate WJAR says the search is in connection to Rahim death; however, FBI tells necn they are working on a Joint Terrorism Task Force "matter."
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said his department and the FBI had been conducting surveillance on Rahim, and decided to approach him for questioning at 7:18 a.m. outside the CVS Pharmacy near Stony Brook and Blue Ledge Drive.
He said Rahim came at the officers with a "large military knife," and refused to drop the weapon despite repeated warnings.
At this point, Evans said two of the officers - believing their lives were in danger - fired their guns at Rahim, hitting him once in the torso and once in the abdomen. He was transported to Brigham and Women's Hospital and was later pronounced dead.
"It's an active investigation - I really can't go into much detail," Evans said. "Obviously, there was enough information there that we thought it was appropriate to question him about his doings today. That's when, unprovoked, he came at them with a knife and they retreated."
The FBI said Rahim had been under 24-hour surveillance, but wouldn't say why, or whether any others are being investigated. They said there is no reason to believe there is any concern for public safety at this time.
On Tuesday morning, several police cars were at Stony Brook Commons, an apartment complex behind the CVS where the shooting occurred. A police source said Rahim lived there.
In a statement released on Facebook, the man's brother, Imam Ibrahim Rahim, said, "We are deeply grieved by the loss of my younger brother. While we understand the need for information. We ask that the press give us time to grieve. We will have a statement once we have met as a family."
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said his office has already begun an investigation into whether police were justified in their use of deadly force. A report will be issued once that investigation is complete.
"We'll leave no stone unturned so we can determine precisely what happened," he said.
Later Tuesday afternoon, the Islamic Society of Boston released a statement saying they were working with Boston police to review surveillance footage on Wednesday.
"This tragedy has yielded many important questions that merit additional attention, and while we cannot expect all questions to be answered tomorrow morning, our hope is that greater clarity and transparency will bring some peace to our congregation and the Boston community at large," ISB said in its statement.