David Daoud Wright

Massachusetts native David Daoud Wright is an alleged homegrown extremist and supporter of ISIS.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. He is the nephew and alleged co-conspirator of Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, a terror suspect who was shot and killed by members of the Boston police force in early June 2015.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. Wright plotted to behead controversial blogger Pamela Geller along with two co-conspirators, Rahim and Nicholas Alexander Rovinski.Elizabeth Barber, “Men charged in Boston beheading plot plead not guilty in court,” Reuters, June 19, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/19/us-massachusetts-police-idUSKBN0OZ14020150619.

Wright reportedly met Rovinski through Facebook and began communicating with him sometime in 2014.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. In January 2015, Wright, Rovinski, and Rahim started to discuss ISIS’s calls to carry out attacks in the United States. By the following month, Wright and Rahim began forming plots and recruiting additional conspirators to carry out an attack. Wright studied a jihadist manual called “How to Survive in the West,” which provides instructions on how to develop a sleeper terrorist cell. He also drafted organizational documents for their intended operation, and conducted Internet searches on firearms, tranquilizers, and other weapons.“Second Superseding Indictment,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, February 15, 2017, https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/3231.pdf.

During this time, Wright also communicated with Zulfi Hoxha, an ISIS supporter who Wright met through a video game website called Steam and had been communicating with since at least November 2014. The two bonded over their support for ISIS on Skype and the messaging site Paltalk, where they participated pro-ISIS chatrooms and shared ISIS propaganda materials with each other, including execution videos and the magazine Dabiq. Before Hoxha left to join ISIS in Syria in April 2015, Wright and Rahim helped him to raise money for his plane ticket.Seamus Hughes et al., “A New American Leader Rises in ISIS,” Atlantic, January 13, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/01/isis-america-hoxha/550508/.

By May 2015, Wright, Rovinski, and Rahim decided to kill Pamela Geller, who was known for hosting a cartoon contest to draw the prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas in early May 2015.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/; “Second Superseding Indictment,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, February 15, 2017, https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/3231.pdf. Wright later admitted that he had been aware of public statements issued by ISIS calling upon supporters to find and behead Geller.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. The three men made plans to carry out the beheading by communicating in person as well as online and over the phone. In one recorded phone conversation with Rovinski, Wright extensively praised ISIS and criticized the U.S. law prohibiting the provision of material support to foreign terrorist organizations.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. Wright also obstructed justice by informing Rahim how to rid his cellphone and computer of their histories to prevent authorities from finding any incriminating evidence.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/.

On June 2, 2015, Wright encouraged Rahim to carry out an attack against authorities and become a martyr for ISIS. Rahim was shot and killed by Boston police officers hours later after he attempted to attack them with a machete.Maria Cramer, “Man convicted in terrorism plot sentenced to 28 years,” Boston Globe, December 19, 2017, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/12/19/man-convicted-terrorism-plot-sentenced-years/dUGdLtwm0DlIKiJQvqfObM/story.html. Upon learning of the incident, Wright immediately deleted data from his laptop and call records from his cell phone that showed that he had spoken to Rahim that morning.“Massachusetts Man Convicted of Supporting ISIS and Conspiring to Murder U.S. Citizens,” U.S. Department of Justice, October 18, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/massachusetts-man-convicted-supporting-isis-and-conspiring-murder-us-citizens.

The FBI arrested Wright following the incident on June 2. In an interview with the FBI in Massachusetts, Wright told agents that he believed that the actions of ISIS, including attacks on civilians, were justified.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. He was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice.“Massachusetts Man and Rhode Island Man Indicted for Conspiracy to Provide Support to Islamic State,” U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, June 18, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/massachusetts-man-and-rhode-island-man-indicted-conspiracy-provide-support-islamic-state. On June 19, 2015, he pled not guilty to the charges.Associated Press, “Men accused of conspiring in terror plot due in federal court in Boston for detention hearing,” Fox News, June 19, 2015, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/06/19/men-accused-conspiring-in-terror-plot-due-in-federal-court-in-boston-for/. On February 15, 2017, Wright was given a superseding indictment with an additional charge of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.“Second Superseding Indictment,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, February 15, 2017, https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/3231.pdf. Wright was convicted of the charges on October 18, 2017, and sentenced to 28 years in federal prison on December 19.“Massachusetts Man Convicted of Supporting ISIS and Conspiring to Murder U.S. Citizens,” U.S. Department of Justice, October 18, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/massachusetts-man-convicted-supporting-isis-and-conspiring-murder-us-citizens; Maria Cramer, “Man convicted in terrorism plot sentenced to 28 years,” Boston Globe, December 19, 2017, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/12/19/man-convicted-terrorism-plot-sentenced-years/dUGdLtwm0DlIKiJQvqfObM/story.html.

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