We’ll get back to the updates on the hatchet attack on four New York City police officers, but let’s first review a similar incident that slipped below the headlines this weekend. As the Telegraph reports, what looks almost like a copycat incident occurred in Washington, D.C., on Friday:
A search was underway in Washington on Friday for a man who attempted to strike a police officer with an axe.
The man surprised the officer, who was patrolling an alleyway, and swung an axe at him but missed, according to police.
An altercation ensued, in which the officer sustained an injury, and his attacker was able to flee.
Police spokesman Araz Alali said: “The man armed with an ax did swing at the officer. He ambushed a police officer… This was completely unprovoked.”
The attack occurred just after three a.m. in Northeast Washington, DC.
The attacker in Washington escaped and is still on the run, while the attacker in New York was shot and killed by officers and the incident caught on video. New York police took little time to deem the hatchet attack an act of terrorism, and even Anderson Cooper and CNN that night weren’t shy about using the word “terror.”
ABC News Monday night had more information on the New York City attacker, Zale Thompson, which might suggest why the police were so quick to name the attack an act of terror.
Two sources briefed on the case tell ABC News that Thompson’s history paints the picture of a man consumed by jihadi philosophy and a desire to attack U.S. government and authority figures, egged on by the brazen attack on Canada’s parliament a day before.
“As of last Thursday, detectives had found 277 sites he visited within last nine months that had something to do with al Qaeda, ISIS, beheadings or jihad,” said one police source. “He’s been all over the charts.”
In addition to the websites viewed by the attacker, sources said his computer showed a rambling “manifesto” in which Thompson wrote “seek them out, watch them and then attack them. Chop off the head of the beast. If we can’t do it ‘there,’ we have to do it here.”
Just some crazy homeless guy?
Most don’t think so.