Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Commit Acts of Terrorism to Support ISIL
BOSTON – Nicholas Rovinski pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Nicholas Alexander Rovinski a/k/a Nuh Amriki a/k/a Nuh Andalusi, 25, of Warwick, R.I., pleaded guilty to conspiring with David Daoud Wright and Usaamah Abdullah Rahim (now deceased) to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for March 23, 2016.
Rovinski and Wright were charged with conspiring with each other, known and unknown conspirators, and Rahim, Wright’s uncle, to provide material support to ISIL and commit acts of terrorism that transcended national boundaries. On June 2, 2015, Rahim was shot and killed after he confronted and threatened law enforcement officers in Roslindale, Mass. Wright remains in custody pending trial.
At today’s hearing, Rovinski admitted among other things, that beginning in December 2014, he began talking with Wright about their mutual desire to support ISIL and how they could provide assistance to that terrorist organization. By April 2015, Rovinski, Wright, and Rahim had agreed to commit attacks and kill persons inside the United States – acts which they believed would support ISIL’s objectives. Their attack plans included the beheading of a New York woman whom ISIL had identified for murder through a “fatwah” or religious decree, to its supporters. In May 2015, Junaid Hussain, an ISIL member in Syria, had directly communicated instructions to Rahim regarding the murder of the New York victim, in which the three men were to play a critical role. On June 2, 2015, Rahim confided in Wright that he could not wait until July 4, 2015, as originally planned, to go after their target, and instead wanted to go operational that day. Rahim told Wright that he wanted to go after the “boys in blue” (a slang term used to describe police officers) in Massachusetts and Wright encouraged Rahim to attack police and become a martyr. Less than two hours after this call, Rahim was shot and killed after confronting law enforcement officers.
On June 11, 2015, Rovinski was arrested for conspiring to provide material support to ISIL but his arrest did not deter his commitment to ISIL. Even after being arrested, Rovinski sought to continue the attacks he had planned with Wright and Rahim, writing letters to Wright from prison discussing ways to take down the United States government and decapitate non-believers.
The charge of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries (in which the defendants intended to kill or maim persons in the United States) provides for a maximum sentence of a life in prison, a lifetime supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s National Security Division; and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation made the announcement today. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney B. Stephanie Siegmann of Ortiz’s National Security Unit and Trial Attorney Gregory R. Gonzalez of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
This investigation was conducted by the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Rhode Island Joint Terrorism Task Force with critical assistance from the Boston Police Department, the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, the Massachusetts State Police, the Commonwealth Fusion Center, the Everett Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, Rhode Island State Police, the Warwick R.I. Police Department, the Rhode Island Fusion Center, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and member agencies of the JTTF.