Nicholas Alexander Rovinski

Nicholas Rovinski is a U.S. citizen and convicted ISIS supporter from Warwick, Rhode Island.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. Rovinski planned to behead controversial blogger Pamela Geller in New York alongside suspected co-conspirators David Daoud Wright and Usaamah Abdullah Rahim.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. In the several months before his June 2015 arrest, Rovinski displayed his support for ISIS on various social media platforms including YouTube, Twitter, and Google+.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. Rovinski was sentenced in 2017 to 15 years in prison, but he was granted a compassionate early release in August 2020 and sentenced to 10 years of home confinement.“Judge sentences 2nd man in beheading plot to 15 years,” Associated Press, December 20, 2017, https://apnews.com/4cb4d561f04a4968bd415a74f8619087/Judge-sentences-2nd-man-in-beheading-plot-to-15-years; Alanna Durkin Richer, “Man guilty in terror plot to be released from prison,” Associated Press, August 13, 2020, https://apnews.com/2782ff5114afc13ac1cf6b8ea66764c4#:~:text=Rovinski%20was%20previously%20supposed%20to,Garland%2C%20Texas%2C%20in%202015.

Rovinski is a convert to Islam.Jason Molinet, “Third Boston terror suspect tied to ‘boys in blue’ plot arrested by FBI in Rhode Island,” NY Daily News, June 11, 2015, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/boston-terror-suspect-tied-boys-blue-plot-article-1.2255673. In an interview with the FBI on June 2, 2015, Rovinski told the agents that he believed ISIS’s teachings represented the purest form of Islam, according to the FBI.“AFFIDAVIT OF FBI SPECIAL AGENT JOSEPH GALIETTA,” FBI, June 12, 2015, 18-19, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Wright%20Affidavit.pdf. Rovinski also asserted that violence against “crusader governments,” such as the United States, was justified.“Criminal Complaint,” U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, June 12, 2015, http://wpri.com/read-criminal-complaint-against-nicholas-rovinski/. The interview occurred hours after the killing of Usaamah Abdullah Rahim by law enforcement officers in Roslindale, Massachusetts, after Rahim approached the officers with a knife.Adam Goldman, “Well-known ISIS operative instructed Americans to kill organizer of Muhammad cartoon contest, prosecutors reveal,” Washington Post, April 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/04/21/well-known-isis-operative-instructed-americans-to-kill-organizer-of-muhammad-cartoon-contest-prosecutors-reveal/. The FBI arrested Rovinski in Rhode Island on June 11, 2015.Jason Molinet, “Third Boston terror suspect tied to ‘boys in blue’ plot arrested by FBI in Rhode Island,” NY Daily Mail, June 11, 2015, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/boston-terror-suspect-tied-boys-blue-plot-article-1.2255673. He was charged the next day with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS.“Two Men Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Islamic State,” U.S. Department of Justice, June 12, 2015, https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/two-men-charged-conspiracy-provide-material-support-islamic-state.

Rovinski pled not guilty to charges on June 19, 2015.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. In a superseding indictment in April 2016, prosecutors charged Rovinski with conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries. According to the indictment, in August 2015 Rovinski wrote a pledge of support to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on the back of the criminal complaint charging Rovinski. Additionally, while in jail, Rovinski attempted to recruit people in order to carry out domestic attacks in the United States and “decapitate non-believers,” according to the FBI.“First Superseding Indictment: United States of America v. David Daoud Wright and Nicholas Alexander Rovinski,” U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, April 21, 2016, 7-12.

On September 22, 2016, Rovinski pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to support ISIS and to committing acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries. During his plea, Rovinski told the court that he felt that “in the interest of myself and the people of the United States I should pay for my crimes.”Milton J. Valencia, “R.I. man pleads guilty to ISIS conspiracy,” Boston Globe, September 22, 2016, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/09/22/man-admits-conspiracy-support-isis/4LtgQEMBcE9SCdLTUxzAbP/story.html. Rovinski was sentenced to 15 years in prison in December 2017.“Judge sentences 2nd man in beheading plot to 15 years,” Associated Press, December 20, 2017, https://apnews.com/4cb4d561f04a4968bd415a74f8619087/Judge-sentences-2nd-man-in-beheading-plot-to-15-years.

In July 2020, Rovinski asked his attorneys to petition for a compassionate early release. Rovinski’s attorneys argued that he was at high risk of contracting COVID-19 because he suffered from cerebral palsy, hypertension, and depression.Tim White, “Judge considering releasing Warwick man convicted in terror plot from prison,” WPRI Eyewitness News, July 22, 2020, https://www.wpri.com/target-12/judge-considering-releasing-warwick-man-convicted-in-terror-plot-from-prison/. On August 13, U.S. District Judge William Young reduced Rovinski’s sentence to time served and ordered his release. Young ordered Rovinski to spend the next 10 years in home confinement with electronic monitoring.Alanna Durkin Richer, “Man guilty in terror plot to be released from prison,” Associated Press, August 13, 2020, https://apnews.com/2782ff5114afc13ac1cf6b8ea66764c4#:~:text=Rovinski%20was%20previously%20supposed%20to,Garland%2C%20Texas%2C%20in%202015.

 
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