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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 17 November 2017 > THE LONESOME DEATHS OF MR. AND MRS. TERROR

THE LONESOME DEATHS OF MR. AND MRS. TERROR

HOW A JIHADI WANNABE IN BOSTON GOT A TOP ISIS LEADER IN SYRIA WHACKED
KNIFE: COURTESY OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS Rahim bought three large knives on Amazon for his planned attacks. His ISIS contact was taken out by a drone strike navigated from Nevada.
DRONE: JOHN MOORE/GETTY

JIHADI

IT WAS DARK AND DANK EARLY on the morning of June 2, 2015, as a pelting rain slicked the roads and pinged off the windows of a townhouse in the bucolic blue-collar Boston neighborhood of Roslindale. The noise woke Usaamah Abdullah Rahim with a start just before 5 a.m., but he was happy to be awake. It was a good day to die.

He had begun preparing for this day a week earlier with a buying spree on Amazon.com, purchasing three military-style knives. He also bought a sharpening tool and a messenger bag to hide the blades. Total cost for his weapons of terror: $395.19.

Rahim was 26, a Brookline High graduate who still lived with his parents in a complex surrounded by meticulously groomed landscaping and patrolled by guards around the clock. He had undergone in recent years a dramatic makeover from the gold chains and backward baseball caps he wore in high school. He now had a beard, shaved his head and face clean, and he liked to wear long white robes, even when he wasn’t attending Friday prayers at the Islamic Society of Boston mosque.

When those massive blades arrived, Rahim gleefully called his nephew, David Wright, a former football player whose 6-foot-8 frame could have made him a standout lineman. Except, his coach says, Wright took the “easy way out most of the time.” He graduated from high school, barely, and got a job, briefly, at Home Depot, but filed a discrimination complaint on his first day, claiming his manager was offended when he wouldn’t return her handshake (“Due to my religious beliefs [Muslim], I told her I could not shake it”).

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POP GO THE WEASELS After centuries of indifference to or even tacit (and sometimes open) sanctioning of sexual harassment abuse or even assault, we are suddenly in the midst of a cock conflagration. Powerful men in Hollywood, politics, journalism and many other professions are being pilloried, sacked or jailed for piggish or even criminal behavior toward women. Now the monsters are finally facing their day of reckoning.
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