Hatchet-wielding Muslim man shot dead after attacking cops in Queens; 3 injured; jihadi tie?

Hatchet-wielding Muslim man shot dead after attacking cops in Queens; 3 injured; jihadi tie?

The lone-wolf Islamist attacks — or, as Daniel Greenfield reminds us, the incidents of “work place violence” — are coming at a steadier clip now.

On Thursday, 23 October, a Queens man, reportedly named Zale Thompson, approached a group of rookie police officers on a street corner and began swinging at them with his hatchet.

The 32-year-old Muslim, who lived in Queens, struck one of the officers in the back of the head with his hatchet and gashed another on the arm, the police said.

A man armed with a hatchet who attacked a group of cops on a Queens street, critically injuring one of them, was shot dead by the officers on Thursday afternoon, and a female bystander was hit by an errant round.

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The attack took place about 2 p.m. in the heart of Jamaica’s shopping district, and NYPD investigators, police sources say, have not ruled out the possibility the culprit sought to commit an act of terrorism.

The officer critically injured in the deadly encounter, Kenneth Healey, a 25-year-old rookie, suffered a hatchet wound to the side of the head. He was being operated on at Jamaica Hospital and doctors listed him in critical but stable condition, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters at a 5 p.m. press conference.

According to the Daily Mail, the female bystander underwent surgery at Jamaica Hospital and is listed in “grave” condition.

Zale Thompson captured on security video launching his attack. (NYPD)
Zale Thompson captured on security video launching his attack. (NYPD)

Top Right News reported a few hours later that Zale Thompson’s Facebook page had possibly Islamist-related images posted to it, including a passage in Arabic and an image of a “Muslim fighter.”  (See below.)  The exact origin of the image is undetermined, at the time of this posting, but it is popular on sites like this one, which retail a narrative about black African Muslims conquering Spain and civilizing Europe, as part of the “Islamic conquests” in the 8th and 9th centuries.  Such sites identify the “fighter” as a Black Moor.  The image is obviously a photograph; its origin would therefore be contemporary (i.e., no more than 150 years old).  (Notably, the Oklahoma beheading killer, Alton Nolen, was clearly influenced by such sites himself.  He posted links and commentary relating to the same “black African” narrative at his Facebook page.  Nolen’s particular version of the narrative identified black Africans as the “true children of Israel.”)

"Black Moor" photograph, popular on African -Islamist websites and posted at Zale Thompson's Facebook page.
“Black Moor” photograph, popular on African -Islamist websites and posted at Zale Thompson’s Facebook page.

Vocativ, meanwhile, reports that law enforcement has unearthed ties between Thompson and a radical Islamic leader, apparently Sheikh Khalid Yasin.  (See the Vocativ report; it includes a link to a video in which Yasin makes inflammatory comments.  The video is not embedded here because we can’t verify the connection implied between Thompson and Yasin.)

Daily Mail adds this:

CNN reports that Thompson has a criminal record in California and that he was discharged from the U.S. Navy for misconduct. Details of his criminal record and his misconduct are not known at this time.

Thompson’s California connection may dovetail with his reported link to Sheikh Khalid Yasin, who is seen in the Vocativ video speaking in Islamic centers in southern California.

Alert readers will remember the many notifications put out by news services in September when a law enforcement bulletin warned that ISIS was urging American Muslims to mount “lone wolf” attacks on military and law enforcement personnel in the U.S.  The Department of Homeland Security was dismissive:

On Thursday, Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, told FoxNews.com that “there is no credible intelligence at this time to suggest that there is an active plot by (ISIS) to carry out an attack in the United States.”

Of course, lone wolf attacks, by their nature, would not necessarily be reflected beforehand in the ISIS-related intelligence collected by U.S. national agencies.


J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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