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Gunman citing Islamic State shoots Philadelphia policeman

Reuters

A gunman claiming to have pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants shot and seriously wounded a Philadelphia police officer in an ambush on his patrol car, the city’s police commissioner said on Friday.

Edward Archer of Philadelphia approached Officer Jesse Hartnett, 33, shortly before midnight and fired 11 rounds, three of which hit the officer in one arm, authorities said. Police released images from surveillance video that showed the gunman dressed in a long white robe walking toward the car and firing, eventually getting close enough to shoot directly through the window.

Hartnett chased Archer, who was arrested by responding officers and later confessed to the attack, saying he had carried it out “in the name of Islam,” police officials told reporters.

“He has confessed to committing this cowardly act in the name of Islam,” Ross told a news conference, adding that the 30-year-old assailant also referenced Islamic State militants.

Philadelphia Police Capt. James Clark added, “He said he pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, he follows Allah and that was the reason he was called on to do this.”

A top U.S. Muslim advocacy group said it had found no evidence that Archer was an observant Muslim.

U.S. officials have been on high security alert following a series of Islamic State-linked attacks at home and abroad over the last few months.

In November, gunman and suicide bombers affiliated with the Islamic State killed 130 people in a series of attacks in Paris. Last month a married couple fatally shot 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in an attack inspired by Islamic State.

Those concerns have led to calls by some Republican governors and presidential hopefuls to restrict the admission of Syrian refugees fleeing that country’s long civil war.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat sworn in on Monday, told reporters he did not believe Archer’s actions reflected Islamic thinking. “In no way shape or form does anyone in this room believe that what was done represents Islam,” Kenney said. “This was done by a criminal with a stolen gun.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the leading U.S. Muslim advocacy group, on Friday said Archer “does not appear” to be an observant Muslim.

At the Masjid Mujahideen mosque, which stands around the block from the home where Archer was believed to have lived, Imam Asim Abdur-Rashid said he did not know Archer and was not aware if he had ever prayed at the mosque.

“When it’s time to pray, you get to wherever is closest,” Abdur-Rashid said, adding, “There’s no conflict between us and anyone in the world.”

A woman who lived on the same block as Archer’s mother said police had responded to the house on occasion but described the suspect as “pleasant.”

Another neighbor, retired public worker Natalie King, 68, said she had seen the man she knew as “Eddie” going to the mosque every Friday. “He’s a nice boy. I am shocked,” she said.

There was no evidence that the shooter had worked with anyone else, Ross said.

“He was savvy enough to stop just short of implicating himself in a conspiracy,” Ross said. “He doesn’t appear to be a stupid individual, just an extremely violent one.”

About a dozen FBI agents and city detectives could be seen on Friday afternoon searching a two-story row house in a working-class West Philadelphia neighborhood where Archer was believed to have stayed at times and a second home just outside the city where his mother lives.

The house where Archer was believed to have stayed was about two blocks away from the intersection where Hartnett was shot.

Archer has a criminal history. Court records show he pleaded guilty in 2014 to assault and carrying an unlicensed gun, charges that got him a prison sentence of nine to 23 months.

Archer’s mother told the Philadelphia Inquirer that her son, the oldest of seven children, had suffered head injuries from football and a moped accident.

“He’s been acting kind of strange lately. He’s been talking to himself” and hearing voices, the newspaper quoted Valerie Holliday as saying. “We asked him to get medical help.”

Hartnett was taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital and will require several surgeries for the three gunshot wounds in his arm.

Archer used a 9-mm handgun that had been stolen from a Philadelphia police officer’s home several years ago, but not by him, Ross said.

In New York City, where two police officers were shot dead in their patrol car in a December 2014 attack by a man angry over police killings of unarmed black men, the police department issued a memorandum urging officers to “exercise heightened vigilance and implement proactive measures” in light of the Philadelphia shooting.

“Those who carry out attacks in the name of ISIS or any other terrorist organization must be fully prosecuted,” said Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, using a common acronym for the Islamic State. “We have to take every appropriate step to safeguard our communities and ensure safety.”

  • Luigi Valentino

    Dear Mr. Mayor Jim Kenney,

    I am very disappointed in the press conference you gave today regarding
    the ISLAMIC MUSLIM who attempted to assassinate one of Philly’s
    finest. I am reprehensibly irritated by your defense of Islam. Your inability to speak the truth disgusts me and Americans everywhere, particularly in Philadelphia.

    The Truth About Muslims And Islam

    Islam is not a religion but a movement with the purpose of dominating every religion and government.

    I knew nothing about Muslims or Islam before the San Bernadino massacre.
    I thought Islam was a religion and Muslim was a culture. I didn’t
    judge. I was so upset about this terrorist attack that I decided to
    look into and research Islam. I read several books, Including
    “Questioning Islam” and “They Must Be Stopped” (both should be mandatory reading for all politicians.) Then I wasted
    four days of my life reading the entire Qur’an. The book written by
    Mohammad (actually dictated by Mohammad due to his illiteracy.)

    A paranoid schizophrenic hiding out in a bat cave had a vision of a
    reptile in human form speaking verbatim “the word of Allah to him.”
    Mohammad then immediately starts foaming at the mouth and having
    convulsions because he was just “touched by the Angel Gabriel,”
    according to his wife. When in all actuality this was a hallucination,
    seizure or even worse, a demonic possession.

    Mohammad
    then convinces a group of scholars, who should have known better, to
    write down his insane rants about how “Allah” said this and “Allah” said
    that. (The Qur’an) When all the while Mohammad was just spewing his
    perverse desires like child molestation, acts of terrorism, inhumanity
    and justified murder all in the name of “Allah.”

    Because
    of his paranoid ways, Mohammad feared no one would believe that HE was
    “Allah’s” chosen ONE. Because of this every other line of the Qur’an
    is “Mohammad is the great prophet” “Mohammad’s word is gold” “Mohammad
    can do no wrong.” He also had written on about every page of the
    Qur’an, “If you don’t believe all these words, Allah will make your
    life a living hell” AND “If you come across a nonbeliever, you are to
    terrorize and KILL them.

    Thus,
    Islam was born. You could say Mohammad was the L. Ron Hubbard of his
    time. Write a crazy book, then base a crazier religion on it.
    However, (Scientology) “Dianetics” isn’t going to compel radical
    Scientologists to commit acts of terror and mass murder. I can
    guarantee you Tom Cruise is not going to behead you or cut off your
    hands. I promise you Kirstie Alley is not going to blindfold Tom Cruise
    and John Travolta then push them off a tall building either.

    So basically Islam (based on Muslims’ practice of the Qur’an) is a very dangerous Cult. Because most Muslims believe and practice the Qur’an verbatim, Islam should be illegal. All mosques should be closed.

    Islam’s
    purpose is to terrorize and kill the nonbelievers, and world
    domination. READ A QUR’AN! They have been doing it for 1400 years.
    Today these Islamic Scum have conquered the Middle East. They have
    conquered Northwestern Africa. They have invaded Sweden, France, Great
    Britain and Germany. The rest of Europe is next…then North America.
    They must be stopped or we will be living in the “United Islamic States
    of America” with Shari’ah the law of the land by the year 2020! THIS
    IS NOT “Islamophobia.” This is the REAL Truth.

    Muslims have proven themselves to be enemies of Western Civilization and the
    freedoms it respects by joining a political ideology that seeks to
    destroy those freedoms and to make all subservient to Islam. Islam has
    as a fundamental goal…the imposition of Shari’ah law on everyone.
    This is against the Constitution. Implementing a law such as Shari’ah
    over the Constitution is an act of treason. Shari’ah law is against all
    of the freedoms Western Civilization and the United States cherishes
    and respects.

    Since Islam teaches that a Muslim should lie and break agreements with non
    Muslims these people can not be trusted. They are the source of support
    for Islamic terrorists. CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood are radical
    Islamic sympathizers disguised as players of the “Islamophobia” card.
    DO NOT LET THESE ORGANIZATIONS BULLY YOU!

    “But there are ‘good’ Muslims,” you might say. Yes, these “good” Muslims
    are the ones that don’t say anything about the BAD Muslims building pipe
    bombs in their garages. The “good” Muslims also secretly find JOY and
    great PLEASURE in TERRORIST acts. All in the name of Allah. “Allahu
    Akbar!”

    Please speak the truth in the future. You can never be criticized or bad mouthed for telling the truth.

    Luigi Valentino

  • Luigi Valentino

    Dear Mr. Mayor Jim Kenney,

    I am very disappointed in the press conference you gave today regarding
    the ISLAMIC MUSLIM who attempted to assassinate one of Philly’s
    finest. I am reprehensibly irritated by your defense of Islam. Your inability to speak the truth disgusts me and Americans everywhere, particularly in Philadelphia.

    The Truth About Muslims And Islam

    Islam is not a religion but a movement with the purpose of dominating every religion and government.

    I knew nothing about Muslims or Islam before the San Bernadino massacre.
    I thought Islam was a religion and Muslim was a culture. I didn’t
    judge. I was so upset about this terrorist attack that I decided to
    look into and research Islam. I read several books, Including
    “Questioning Islam” and “They Must Be Stopped” (both should be mandatory reading for all politicians.) Then I wasted
    four days of my life reading the entire Qur’an. The book written by
    Mohammad (actually dictated by Mohammad due to his illiteracy.)

    A paranoid schizophrenic hiding out in a bat cave had a vision of a
    reptile in human form speaking verbatim “the word of Allah to him.”
    Mohammad then immediately starts foaming at the mouth and having
    convulsions because he was just “touched by the Angel Gabriel,”
    according to his wife. When in all actuality this was a hallucination,
    seizure or even worse, a demonic possession.

    Mohammad
    then convinces a group of scholars, who should have known better, to
    write down his insane rants about how “Allah” said this and “Allah” said
    that. (The Qur’an) When all the while Mohammad was just spewing his
    perverse desires like child molestation, acts of terrorism, inhumanity
    and justified murder all in the name of “Allah.”

    Because
    of his paranoid ways, Mohammad feared no one would believe that HE was
    “Allah’s” chosen ONE. Because of this every other line of the Qur’an
    is “Mohammad is the great prophet” “Mohammad’s word is gold” “Mohammad
    can do no wrong.” He also had written on about every page of the
    Qur’an, “If you don’t believe all these words, Allah will make your
    life a living hell” AND “If you come across a nonbeliever, you are to
    terrorize and KILL them.

    Thus,
    Islam was born. You could say Mohammad was the L. Ron Hubbard of his
    time. Write a crazy book, then base a crazier religion on it.
    However, (Scientology) “Dianetics” isn’t going to compel radical
    Scientologists to commit acts of terror and mass murder. I can
    guarantee you Tom Cruise is not going to behead you or cut off your
    hands. I promise you Kirstie Alley is not going to blindfold Tom Cruise
    and John Travolta then push them off a tall building either.

    So basically Islam (based on Muslims’ practice of the Qur’an) is a very dangerous Cult. Because most Muslims believe and practice the Qur’an verbatim, Islam should be illegal. All mosques should be closed.

    Islam’s
    purpose is to terrorize and kill the nonbelievers, and world
    domination. READ A QUR’AN! They have been doing it for 1400 years.
    Today these Islamic Scum have conquered the Middle East. They have
    conquered Northwestern Africa. They have invaded Sweden, France, Great
    Britain and Germany. The rest of Europe is next…then North America.
    They must be stopped or we will be living in the “United Islamic States
    of America” with Shari’ah the law of the land by the year 2020! THIS
    IS NOT “Islamophobia.” This is the REAL Truth.

    Muslims have proven themselves to be enemies of Western Civilization and the
    freedoms it respects by joining a political ideology that seeks to
    destroy those freedoms and to make all subservient to Islam. Islam has
    as a fundamental goal…the imposition of Shari’ah law on everyone.
    This is against the Constitution. Implementing a law such as Shari’ah
    over the Constitution is an act of treason. Shari’ah law is against all
    of the freedoms Western Civilization and the United States cherishes
    and respects.

    Since Islam teaches that a Muslim should lie and break agreements with non
    Muslims these people can not be trusted. They are the source of support
    for Islamic terrorists. CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood are radical
    Islamic sympathizers disguised as players of the “Islamophobia” card.
    DO NOT LET THESE ORGANIZATIONS BULLY YOU!

    “But there are ‘good’ Muslims,” you might say. Yes, these “good” Muslims
    are the ones that don’t say anything about the BAD Muslims building pipe
    bombs in their garages. The “good” Muslims also secretly find JOY and
    great PLEASURE in TERRORIST acts. All in the name of Allah. “Allahu
    Akbar!”

    Please speak the truth in the future. You can never be criticized or bad mouthed for telling the truth.

    Luigi Valentino