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Boston man killed by authorities was being watched by terrorism task force

Boston man killed by police was being watched by terrorism task force

Law enforcement officials with the Boston police and the FBI shot and killed a man Tuesday morning after they tried to interview him as part of a terrorism investigation and he brandished a large knife, police and federal officials said.

Usaama Rahim, 26, had been under 24-hour surveillance by a Joint Terrorism Task Force and was "a known suspect wanted for some terrorist-related information we had received," Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said at a televised news conference.

“He was someone we were watching for quite a time," Evans said. "The level of alarm brought us to question him today."

Officials declined to go into further detail about why they were watching Rahim.

The shooting happened near a drugstore parking lot in Boston's Roslindale neighborhood about 7 a.m. A local imam who says he is Rahim's brother said Rahim had been waiting for the bus to go to work.

Officials said the shooting was captured on video, which has not been released. The Suffolk County district attorney's office will investigate the shooting to determine whether it was justified, the Boston Globe reported.

Vincent B. Lisi, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston office, declined to tell reporters why officials wanted to speak to Rahim except “to approach him and interview him and talk to him about his intentions."

The unidentified officials who shot Rahim did not have a warrant and did not plan to arrest him, but “we considered him armed and dangerous," Lisi said at the news conference.

When the officials with Boston police and the FBI approached Rahim without their guns drawn, Rahim pulled out a large knife "unprovoked" and ignored commands to drop it, Evans said.

Rahim "came at the officers," who retreated and opened fire when Rahim got close enough that "their lives were in danger," Evans said.

Rahim was shot once in the torso and once in the abdomen and was pronounced dead at a local hospital, Evans said.

“Our investigation is still ongoing," Lisi said. "There’s a lot more for us to do.”

The large black knife, which Evans described as "military-type," was displayed for the media at the news conference.

In a post on Facebook, Ibrahim Rahim, whom the Boston Globe calls a popular moderate leader in the local Islamic community, wrote that his brother had been on the phone with his father when "he was confronted by three Boston Police officers and subsequently shot in the back three times."

"His last words to my father who heard the shots were: 'I can't breathe!'" Ibrahim Rahim wrote.

He added in a later post: "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."

Follow @MattDPearce for national news

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