Now that the deed is done, the whys and wherefores of yesterday’s assassination of two New York City Police officers are on investigators’ minds. The man behind the killings, Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, is no longer available for questions. Shortly after murdering officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, Brinsley turned his gun on himself on a crowded subway platform. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a Brooklyn hospital.
The task of filling the details thus becomes a job of reconstruction. It was already established in the earliest reports that the killings were intended as retaliation for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. This information comes from a message Brinsley wrote on Instagram. Today the New York Post reported on another Instagram post that included lyrics to the 50 Cent song “Green Lantern”:
never had a hot gun on your waist and blood on your shoe…n*gga you ain’t been through what I been through you not like me and I’m not like you.
The post included the hashtags “#BrooklynGoHard #ConeyIsland,”
What more is there to know at this point?
- He had a criminal past. In 2007, he was collared in Georgia for criminal trespass. Here are the arrest data entry and mugshot.The New York Times notes additionally that he was also arrested on robbery charges in Ohio in 2009 and on felony gun possession in Georgia. For that last crime he was sentenced to two years in prison. As recently as 2011, he was a suspect in a harassment case in New York.
- He spoke Arabic. According to his Facebook page, since removed, he featured and commented on passages in that language. Walid Shoebat has claimed that Brinsley was an Islamic jihadist (his middle name means “servant of Allah”) and a fan of a radical cleric named Yusuf Estes, though Shoebat provides no documentation to support that claim.