New York police fear that a crazed hatchet attack on four police officers in Jamaica, Queens, today could be linked to terrorism.
Suspect Zale Thompson, 32, pictured in surveillance footage, was shot dead on the scene after slashing one cop in the arm and the other in the head at around without warning about 2pm.
The officer struck in the head was critically injured.
A 29-year-old female bystander a half-a-block away from the attack was critically injured after being shot by an errant police round. She is currently recovering from surgery at Jamaica Hospital and is listed in ‘grave’ condition.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said he’s not ruling out terrorism especially in the wake of recent terror attacks in Canada, reports CNN.
‘There is nothing we know as of this time that would indicate that were the case. I think certainly the heightened concern is relative to that type of assault based on what just happened in Canada,’ said Bratton.
A Facebook account allegedly tied to Zale Thompson features a photograph of a man dressed in Middle Eastern garb and a cover photo the shows Arabic writing.
The page says that Thompson graduated from Columbia Teacher’s College.
Screenshot from the Facebook page of the same name as attacker:
And this from the Daily News:
As investigators were delving into Thompson’s background, they requested search warrants for his home so his computer could be analyzed to identify his online contacts and the type of websites he was visiting. A police source said one of Thompson’s computers contained evidence of web searches about the Islamic State and Afghanistan. But the source said investigators were initially leaning toward a belief that Thompson was mentally disturbed but not linked to a terrorist group.
“That type of question certainly comes to mind,” Bratton said at a 5 p.m. press conference when asked about a connection between Thompson and a terrorist organization. “We really cannot say yes or no to that question. This is an ongoing investigation.”
The Daily News digitally scrambled the attacker’s face but Terror Trends Bulletin had a pic of the perp who seemed to be sporting a jihadi beard:
And this via EOTW:
CNN video further reported that the NYPD found indications of extremist views on his Facebook page.
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