War on Terrorism

Friday, June 12, 2015

Two Men Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Islamic State



Today, David Wright aka Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, 25, of Everett, Massachusetts, and Nicholas Rovinski aka Nuh Amriki aka Nuh al Andalusi, 24, of Warwick, Rhode Island, were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.  On June 3, 2015, Wright was charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, and he was taken into custody.  Rovinski was arrested yesterday evening at his home in Rhode Island, and will make an appearance in federal court in Boston today.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz for the District of Massachusetts and Special Agent in Charge Vincent Lisi for the FBI’s Boston Field Division made the announcement.

Wright and Rovinski are charged with conspiring with each other, unknown conspirators and Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, Wright’s uncle, who lived in Roslindale, Massachusetts, until his death on June 2, 2015.  Rahim was shot and killed after he attacked law enforcement officers in a Roslindale parking lot.

The complaint affidavit alleges that, beginning at a date unknown but no later than May 2015, Wright, Rovinski and Rahim conspired to commit attacks and kill persons inside the United States, which they believed would support ISIL’s objectives.

The affidavit alleges that, in furtherance of that plan, Wright, Rovinski and Rahim conspired to attack and behead a person referred to in the affidavit as “Intended Victim-1,” a resident of New York, who had organized a conference in Garland, Texas, on May 3, 2015, featuring cartoons depicting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.  Early on May 31, 2015, Wright and Rahim drove to Rhode Island, picking up Rovinski at his residence in Warwick, Rhode Island, and driving to a Warwick beach to discuss their plot in secrecy.

The affidavit further alleges that, at approximately 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Rahim called Wright and advised him, in another guarded conversation, that he had changed plans and that he no longer planned to conduct the attack in New York.  Rahim advised Wright that, instead, he intended to attack “those boys in blue” (meaning police officers) locally in Massachusetts either that day or the next day.  Wright urged him to first wipe his laptop computer and to destroy his phone so that they could not be searched by law enforcement and urged him to make a will.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 15 years in prison, up to life of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The initial charge against Wright for obstruction of justice remains pending.  A detention hearing has been set for Wright on Friday, June 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.  Rovinski’s initial appearance is set today at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom two before Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Boston Field Division, Boston Police Department, Massachusetts State Police and member agencies of the Boston and Rhode Island Joint Terrorism Task Force, including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service and others.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys B. Stephanie Siegmann and Nadine Pellegrini of the District of Massachusetts’s Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit and Trial Attorney Gregory R. Gonzalez of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division Counterterrorism Section.

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