BOSTON (CBS) – Both men arrested for their alleged roles in a Boston terror plot have been charged with planning to support ISIS and will be held until their next court appearance next week.
David Wright, Rahim’s nephew, had previously been arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. His charges have been upgraded.
Both Wright and Rovinski were charged Friday with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS.
Rovinski appeared in Boston’s Federal Court on Friday afternoon while Wright is scheduled to return to the courthouse on Friday, June 19.
During his initial appearance, which lasted only about five minutes, Rovinski was described as a “threat to public safety” by prosecutors.
The government requested the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for Rovinski during his hearing.
Rovinski was ordered held until next Friday, when he will appear along with Wright for a bail and probable cause hearing.
His mother declined comment on Rovinski’s arrest, saying “it will all come out.”
Investigators said Wright, known as Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, and Rovinski, with a pair of aliases, worked with Rahim to plan deadly attacks that they believed would support ISIS objectives.
Rovinski allegedly told FBI agents he feels “at war” with those who oppose ISIS.
Federal officials said the trio initially planned to travel to New York to attack Pamela Geller, who had previously organized a Texas conference featuring Prophet Muhammad cartoons.
According to the affidavit filed against the men, on May 31 Wright and Rahim drove to Rhode Island where they met with Rovinski at a Warwick beach to discuss their plan.
On June 2, Rahim allegedly called Wright and said that he changed his plan and instead attended to attack “those boys in blue.”
Investigators say Rahim planned to behead Massachusetts police officers either that day or the next.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in announcing the charges.
Boston police and FBI agents had been monitoring Rahim’s actions, and approached him in a CVS parking lot in Roslindale.
When approached, Rahim allegedly pulled out a military-style knife and threatened police. He was shot three times and died from his injuries.
Police Commissioner William Evans and other officials released security footage of the incident that appeared to show officers backing up before shooting Rahim.
Wright and Rovinski’s charges of conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail.
WBZ-TV Security Analyst Ed Davis reacts
WBZ-TV Security Analyst Ed Davis said conspiracy to provide material support charges have been used as a tool in the government’s fight against terrorism.
You are facing some seriously time in federal prison if you are charged with this,” said Davis.
“The bottom line is they don’t pull the trigger on a charge until they have really good evidence. I’m satisfied that they have a prosecutable case.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports