A hatchet-wielding man attacked police officers in Queens, New York, yesterday, and early reports say that the man in question may have had ties to terrorism.
Authorities say that they are still working to identify the suspect, but sources say that 32-year-old Zale Thompson is behind the attack. Around 2 p.m., a freelance photographer asked a group of police officers to pose for a photo. At that moment, a man carrying a hatchet ambushed them from behind and struck two officers – one in the shoulder and one in the head. The two other officers quickly grabbed their guns and opened fire, and the man, said to be Thompson, was shot dead at the scene.
Surveillance camera shows the man pulling a hatchet, reportedly measuring 18.5 inches, out of his bag just prior to the attack.
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While the NYPD and the FBI maintained that they have yet to confirm the identity of the man with the hatchet, NBC News reports that police sources claim it is 32-year-old Thompson. A Facebook page belonging to Thompson was reportedly discovered, and on it, he seems to post things related to being a Muslim warrior.
Police, however, are not confirming these claims, saying that it is too early in their investigation to do so. It is being reported, however, the suspect’s social media account shows more of a tie to “black radical ideology of the 1970s” rather than jihad.
“It’s ok for white people to draw pictures of a white Jesus, and then colonize Africa, and enslave the Negro in America, wipe out the Native American, and invade the Middle East. They call black people racist for rejecting the oppression they suffered from whites,” said Thompson in a comment reportedly posted on a video against “whites."
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“Listen, when black people have colonized the entire continent of Europe, enslaved its people, and sold them into bondage to foreign lands, then you can call them racist.”
Zale Thompson reportedly graduated from Columbia College in New York.