The hatchet-wielding Muslim ‘jihad warrior’ who attacked four NYPD officers earlier today and was then shot dead by police may have had ties to ISIS.
VOCATIV (h/t whuptdue) Law-enforcement sources we spoke with identified Zale Thompson as the armed man who charged at a group of NYPD uniformed police assembled on a street corner in Jamaica, Queens, at around 2 p.m. today. The 32-year-old Muslim, who lived in Queens, struck one of the officers in the back of the head with his hatchet and gashed another on the arm, the police said. . The NBC News report describes the profile picture of his Facebook page as appearing to be “a Muslim warrior.”
NBC reported Thompson allegedly assaulted the officers at 2 p.m. when they were asked by a freelance photographer to pose for a picture. According to Police Commisioner Bill Bratton, the hatchet-wielding perpetrator assaulted the group from behind – “unprovoked and not speaking a word.”
“This matter has not officially been deemed an act of terrorism as the initial investigation is still ongoing and details are being developed,” the FBI said in a statement Thursday evening, NBC New York reports.
After they were provoked, two of the four cops drew their weapons and fired several times, gunning the attacker down; the gunfire struck a 29-year-old woman who happened to be walking by. Her condition was critical, authorities said.
Law-enforcement sources said that a look into Thompson’s chatter online revealed he had ties to a radical U.S.-based radical Islamic leader who advocated aggression against the American government.
Last month, Thompson, who says on his Facebook page that he graduated from the Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, commented on YouTube: “If you’re looking for ‘perfect’ Muslims who never make any mistakes in their Jihad, then you will be looking in vain! If the Zionists and the Crusaders had never invaded and colonized the Islamic lands after WW1, then there would be no need for Jihad! Which is better, to sit around and do nothing, or to Jihad fisabeelallah!”
Thompson’s comment was on a video explaining the idea of creating an Islamic caliphate, or borderless kingdom, which is ISIS’s ultimate aim.