Zale Thompson, the Islamist radical who on Thursday attempted to carry out acts of jihad against two NYPD officers, had previously expressed Islamic sentiments on social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook.
On Thursday, Thompson hit one officer in the head and another in the arm with his hatchet, before other officers responded and neutralized him. The police officer who was attacked is reportedly in critical condition.
On September 13th, Thompson described on his Facebook page the Islamic act of jihad as a “justifiable response to the oppression of the ‘Zionists [Jews] and the Crusaders [Christians].”
A reported convert to Islam, His Facebook cover photo featured Arabic writing from the Quran that talks about finding “the straight path” through Allah. His profile photo features a man dressed as a warrior in Arab attire. His Facebook page was taken down sometime late afternoon Friday New York time, following his identification as the attacker.
Last month, Thompson commented under a YouTube video titled, “Uprise of the Khilafah (Caliphate) World Wide.” He wrote:
If you’re looking for “perfect” muslims who never make any mistakes in their Jihad, then you will be looking in vain! If the Zionists and the Crusaders had never invaded and colonized the Islamic lands after WW1, then there would be no need for Jihad! Which is better, to sit around and do nothing, or to Jihad fisabeelallah (for the sake of allah)!
The pro-Islamic State video explained how creating an Islamic caliphate should be the ultimate goal for the Islamic State and other Islamist entities.
The exact date of Thompson’s reported conversion to Islam remains unknown. He has reportedly also used the Muslim name Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik. CNN reported that Thompson received a dishonorable discharged from the Navy for misconduct and had a criminal record in the state of California. Navy records show that he enlisted in the Navy in February 2001 as a building constructionman, before being discharged just two years later. The New York Post was told by a classmate that Thompson was well-educated and a strong proponent of “black power.” The classmate also said that he appeared to be a nice man. But neighbors told the Post that since moving to Jamaica, Queens, he had become “weird” and was known to get into fights with his mother and girlfriend.