The NYPD is reportedly investigating whether Islamic extremism played a role in Thursday’s hatchet attack on city cops.
Officers shot and killed a man identified as Zale Thompson, 32, of Queens, who fractured the skull of Officer Kenneth Healey, 25, at about 2 p.m. in the Jamaica section of Queens. Videotape and witness accounts apparently showed Thompson intentionally targeting four rookie officers. Thompson was seen minutes before the attack pulling a hatchet from his backpack and then began attacking the officers, slicing a second cop on the arm before he was fatally shot, the New York Post reports.
“There’s nothing we know at this time that would indicate that [Islamic terrorism] is the case,” NYPD Commissioner William Bratton told reporters during a press conference at Jamaica Hospital. “That’s what the investigation will attempt to determine.”
Thompson, whose Facebook page includes a passage from the Koran and a photograph of a masked militant, is being investigated for possible terrorist connections.
“There are suspected terror ties,” one source told the newspaper.