Commissioner William Bratton of the New York City Police Department said Friday that a hatchet attack on four rookie cops a day earlier was an “act of terror” by a homegrown radical, according to the Associated Press.
The man, Zale Thompson, 32, was shot and killed Thursday when he reportedly attacked a group of rookie officers with a hatchet, critically injuring one. An errant bullet hit a female passerby.
One officer is hospitalized with a head wound.
Bratton said Friday that Thompson was a convert to Islam who ranted online against the United States but had no clear ties to international terrorism, AP reports. Bratton said he thinks Thompson was self-radicalized.
The attack occurred at 2 p.m. Thursday at a busy intersection in Jamaica, Queens, when Thompson reportedly emerged from behind a bus shelter and began swinging the hatchet at a group of rookie officers. The officers, who graduated together in July from the Police Academy, were posing for a photograph.
Bratton says investigators are trying to determine whether the attack was planned, and investigators are examining Thompson’s computer for clues, the report says.
Bratton told reporters that investigators found that Thompson had browsed the Web for organized terror groups, as well as videos of beheadings and information about the shootings this week in Canada, AP writes. On Wednesday a gunman killed a soldier on guard duty at a war memorial in Ottawa and was later killed inside the nearby Parliament building by the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons in an exchange of gunfire.
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