The FBI and NYC Police Department are investigating the possibility that Zale Thompson, who earlier today attacked four New York police officers with an axe, may have been motivated by a desire to commit terrorism.
“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.
Surveillance footage shows Thompson charging the officers in Jamaica, Queens.
A freelance photographer had just asked four uniformed police officers to pose for a photo when Thompson pulled a hatchet from his bag and struck one officer in the arm and another in the head.
The other two officers then opened fire, killing the man and wounding a woman nearby with stray gunfire.
Watch the moment Thompson charges at the officers in the video below.
Thompson, 32, lived in Queens Village, once served in the Navy and attended Teacher’s College at Columbia University from 2009 to 2010, according to NY Daily News.
Thompson’s Facebook page reportedly contained “images of what appears to be a Muslim warrior and prayers,” according to MSNBC, however, the authenticity of these claims have not been confirmed.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 24, 2014
Police sources said Thompson recently had a Facebook conversation with a man on the subject of terrorism.
The man in question, Frank Sha Francois, told NY Daily News that the pair did discuss terrorism but they had denounced it.
“We spoke against all aspects of any type of terrorism — foreign terrorism, domestic terrorism, terrorism committed by groups and by governments. Any act of violence where innocent lives are spilled, we spoke against that,” Francois said.
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