Massachusetts man re-sentenced to 30 years in prison for reportedly conspiring to kill U.S. citizens for ISIS

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BOSTON, MA (NEWS10) — David Daoud Wright a.k.a. Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, 31, of Everett, MA was re-sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison for reportedly conspiring to murder U.S. citizens, including police officers, on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Wright was sentenced to 30 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release. Back in December 2-17 Wright was reportedly sentenced to 28 years in prison after a federal jury convicted him of the following:

  • Conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS
  • Conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries
  • Conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice

Following that, in August 2019, the First Circuit Court of Appeals reportedly vacated the conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS, and affirmed the other two counts. The case was then remanded to the district court for re-sentencing which took place on Monday.

“Mr. Wright is a homegrown terrorist who plotted to kill innocent Americans on behalf of ISIS, including specifically targeting police officers,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “He radicalized himself and others, pledged allegiance to a terrorist organization, and conspired with his now-deceased uncle to kill police officers with a combat knife. This case is a reminder of the persistent terrorism threat to our citizens and law enforcement officers.”

“ISIS soldier David Wright betrayed his country and forfeited his freedom when he conspired with others to attack and murder innocent civilians and police officers in support of a sworn, barbaric enemy of the United States. This sentence ensures they remain worlds apart,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Identifying and disrupting terrorist plots, both foreign and domestic, is the FBI’s top priority, and the round-the-clock teamwork of our partners within our Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force saved innocent lives, and kept Wright’s endgame of martyrdom out of reach.”

Court officials said Wright began discussing ISIS’ call to kill non-believers in the U.S. with his uncle, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, and co-defendant Nicholas Alexander Rovinski. Wright then specifically created a Twitter page for the “Lions of America” and published a document titled, Internal Conquest, online where Wright reportedly called on Muslims living in the U.S. to kill their fellow citizens.

Wright also reportedly plotted with Rahim and Rovinski to behead U.S. citizens at the direction of ISIS, and identified a New York woman as the first beheading target. Rahim then reportedly purchased three knives for his plan. Additionally, Wright’s ISIS cell was said to be in direct communication with ISIS recruiter and attack facilitator, Junaid Hussain, who provided Rahim with an encrypted document containing details about the intended victim. In August 2015, Hussain was reportedly killed in an airstrike in Raqqah, Syria. 

Court officials said to prepare for the attack, Wright conducted extensive research on weapons, knives, machetes, and bomb making components as well as methods for how to subdue a victim. Wright reportedly researched the following terms: “What tranquilizer put humans to sleep instantly” and “how to start a secret militia in the United States.”   

Officials said back on June 2, 2015, Wright caused a terrorist attack in Massachusetts causing his uncle Rahim to be killed. Rahim was shot and killed after he reportedly attacked law enforcement officers with a large fighting knife in a Roslindale, MA parking lot. Two hours before Rahim attacked police, Wright reportedly directed and encouraged Rahim to pursue martyrdom by attacking the “boys in blue.”

Within minutes of learning of his uncle’s death, Wright reportedly deleted data from his laptop by factory resetting it and deleting call logs on his cellphone that showed the two had spoken on the morning of the attack. Wright also reportedly instructed Rahim to destroy his electronic devices prior to the attack.

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