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Zale Thompson's Hatchet Attack on Police in Queens

Zale Thompson of Queens, New York attacked four recent police academy graduates with a hatchet on the street in Queens yesterday as they were posing for a picture. The incident was caught on tape. One officer was struck in the head and is in critical condition. Another officer was struck in the arm and was treated and released from the hospital. The other two officers shot at Thompson, who died at the scene.

Authorities are pouring over his social media contacts to determine the motive for the attack and whether he has links to terrorists like ISIS. As far as I can tell, he's a militant whose cause is the oppression of African Americans in America, not religious oppression. He's interested in Africa and America, not the Middle East. I see nothing to indicate he cares about Sharia law. [More...

His online friend interviewed by the news, Frank Sha, is a community activist who organizes marches and speeches against police brutality. He is very into his cause. Here's what he wrote on his FB page about Zale after he talked to the media.

Scrolling through Frank's FB page, to say he and his friends don't like cops or trust politicians is an understatement. (They bash Obama a lot as well.)

This is Frank:

In one post, Frank wrote on FB criticizing Halloween as a racist holiday intended to oppress Blacks and Zale gave it a "like". Here's what Frank wrote in response, saying that Zale was the biggest militant he knew.

Zale had this to say in one comment about Crips and Bloods and white and black Christians.

Zale Thompson is a big fan of Malcolm X. He believes the time has come for violent aggression against the oppressors of African Americans in the U.S. In another comment he says that Malcolm X would approve.

He is 32 years old, has a dishonorable discharge from the Navy, and attended the Teacher's College at Colombia University, but did not graduate.

His FB comments on his friend Frank's page do not sound deranged, just militant. In one discussion, he discounts the notion of aliens, saying you only find them in science fiction. They aren't real. He has an interest in history.

Here's an example of how the mainstream media overreacts and presents false information that five minutes worth of research could have avoided. The Daily News, in an article written by four reporters writes:

Zale Thompson on Facebook is pictured wearing a keffiyeh and had a recent terrorism-related conversation with one of his Facebook friends, according to a police source.

This is his FB cover photo:

It took me under five minutes to source his cover photo, which he added to FB in November, 2013, on TinyEye. It's not a photo of Thompson. The graphic is of a Moor from the 14th Century. It's on the cover of a well received historical book, The Golden Age of the Moors.

The book is a historical examination of the Moors in the 14th century. It is based on museum exhibits and historical documents from that era. Those reviewing the book who appreciate it the most express their belief that the Moors were Blacks from Africa, who despite their great contribution to European civilization, never received the credit. According to these reviewers, the ethnicity of the Moors has never been definitively determined by historians, yet most historians have assumed the Moors were White (with a little darker pigment but still white ) or Berber. These reviewers like the book because the photos show the Moors with a clearly darker pigmentation, indicating they really did come from Africa. One reviewer says the book:

"establishes beyond the need for further debate that the Moors were black africans that conquered and civilized Spain, and then lost it again to a white European reconquista...The Moors were among the most civilized peoples of the world in their time. ....The most interesting thesis in my mind was that the Moors were a source of the knowledge that flooded Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and thus were coauthors of the renaissance, along with the Arabs and Turks on the other side of the Mediterranean....there is so much detail about the contributions of the Moors to civilization, that this is a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in where we all came from.

The book was not about Jihad. Back to Zale Thompson's views on race: Here's a comment from his Google Plus page on a video:

The Arabic graphic on his FB page is one that appears on many non-jihadist Arabic forums. I don't think his attack was motivated by ISIS. The manner of attack (a hatchet rather than a gun) may have been, but he is not a religious zealot. His cause is racial oppression.

He reminds me more of the Oklahoma beheader, whose facebook page was filled with complaints about economic oppression and the limited jobs available to him (as a felon coming out of jail with years of probation left to serve. He had action alerts to raise the minimum wage on his page.)

The Canadian who shot the soldier the other day, was broke and homeless and living at the Salvation Army the last few weeks before the attack. Here's an article explaining how he told a judge he wanted to go to jail because he had nowhere else to go and jail would give him free room and board and might end his crack habit. He knew using crack was bad, and it was against the rules of his religion. He thought he could be a better person in jail. The prosecutor asked he not be put in jail. Would he have snapped if Canada had offered him drug treatment, a place to live and a skills program to get a job?

These three do not remind me of ISIS, but of people at the end of their rope, people who feel oppressed and that they have gotten the short end of the stick. As the Zapatistas wrote about their Subcomandante Marcos:

So Marcos is a human being, any human being in this world. Marcos is all the exploited, marginalized, oppressed minorities, rising and saying "Enough."

Judging from the other FB comments on Frank Sha's page, it's clear there are a lot of people feeling exploited, marginalized and oppressed in this country. Which is why I also say, why not listen to their grievances and address the ones that are legitimate, rather than abandoning or ignoring them, which results in their descent to some awful state of despair where they remain until they finally snap and do something crazy, like attack random policemen on the street, behead a coworker or kill a soldier in broad daylight.

Yes, it was Shiek Adnan al Adnani, who as I wrote here, stirred the lone wolf pot when he said in his last speech:

[Do] not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawāghīt. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves.

If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war [the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims]. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy...

...The best thing you can do is to strive to your best and kill any disbeliever, whether he be French, American, or from any of their allies ....If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.

...If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops. If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face.

It may well have been ISIS or Adnani that gave Zale Thompson the idea to use a hatchet in his attack. But it doesn't sound like he did this for ISIS or religion. Same method, different cause.

I think the U.S. will see a few more of these attacks. They are predictable. ISIS warned the U.S. not to do airstrikes, but it didn't listen. It had to meddle. The U.S. put a target on our back. You can't expect to sting ISIS and have ISIS not try to crush the bee in response. It's also delighted with these attacks. ISIS not only has its supporters committing attacks, it has people committing attacks who have no interest in ISIS's goals, but happen to have the same enemy for reasons of their own. It's a win-win for ISIS.

Attacking ISIS was the wrong choice. Getting more involved in a war with ISIS will be even worse. Even so, you can't brand all violent malcontents in the West with the ISIS label. The malcontents may be domestic terrorists, but all they got from ISIS was the idea to go big and bold, do it at home, don't share your plans, and a knife is good, but so is a gun, a rock, or running an enemy over with your car.

The only one who can stop ISIS is ISIS, when it gets too big for its britches in the eyes of its rivals in the Middle East. Let the terrorists battle it out. We have no business there. But since it appears we are going to keep meddling and stinging ISIS and al Qaida, we can expect more of these lone wolf attacks at home, and not just by jihadist supporters.

One last note on the media hyperventilation: A Fox News anchor said yesterday afternoon or evening about New York, "We are under siege." Please. You have a greater chance of being hit by a bolt of lightening than being attacked by a terrorist or coming down with Ebola. If you want to know what "under siege"is like, take a trip to Kobane or Anbar.

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  • Display: Sort:
    No fan of Malcolm. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 07:55:51 AM EST
    Zale Thompson is a big fan of Malcolm X. He believes the time has come for violent aggression against the oppressors of African Americans in the U.S. In another comment he says that Malcolm X would approve.

    This really bugs me.

    I love Malcolm.
    I loved him then, and I love him now.

    He would have nothing whatsoever to do with approving this kind of attack. He did, however, warn that unless things were improved, there was a racial powder keg brewing.

    He said that Black people had a right to defend themselves "by any means necessary", but repeatedly denied that he was an advocate of violence. He just warned, as I said, that if conditions for Black people did not improve substantially, violence would result.

    To say that Zale is a "big fan" of Malcolm is one load.
    He has absorbed some of Malcolm's words, and his manner of describing what happened to Black people at the hands of white people - but he spins it in a direction that is his own.

    Invoking Malcolm makes me angry.

    Clarification... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 08:13:02 AM EST
    When I wrote, in unfortunately pedestrian language above, "To say that Zale is a "big fan" of Malcolm is one load", what I meant to say is for Zale to claim that he is truly into Malcolm is a gross distortion imo.

    He takes what he wants, and spins it the way he wants.

    It's like Bush saying Jesus is his favorite philosopher.

    Parent

    And militant Islamists (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:01:05 AM EST
    saying their religion tells them to kill infidels.  

    Parent
    Thank goodness (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:37:31 AM EST

    Looks like he was only a racist and not a jihadi.  Homicidal motivation comes in multiple flavors.

     

    Huh? (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 10:06:26 AM EST
    Prejudiced maybe...sh*t who ain't?  But where do you see any evidence of racism?  Blue is not a race, badges are not a race, politician is not a race.  Oppression is what the guy sounds like he hated, and racism is what he perhaps suffered.

    That being said, he let that hate get the best of him, and became what he despised...a violent aggressor justifying the unjustifiable.  

    An all too common tale, the circle of violence and vengeance.

    Parent

    Photography wasn't invented until the late 1830s (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 07:13:41 AM EST
    So there couldn't have photographs of Moors, or any other group, for that matter, in the 14th Century.

    maybe it was drawings (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 07:19:12 AM EST
    I'll change the word. Thanks.

    Parent
    could also be a photo of an (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 07:21:41 AM EST
    exhibit in a museum.

    Van Sertima presents a compilation of historical information taken from the museums of Europe that describe the Moors. In his book Van Sertima presents paintings, sculptures, coats of arms, and written records about the Moors, that date back to the period that the Moors were in Europe. Van Sertima's approach is based upon his premis that the most accurate information about the Moors would be the information recorded by the European historians and the European people that lived during the period of time that Moors were in Europe.


    Parent
    Not that it is important (none / 0) (#23)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 12:14:11 PM EST
     but it sure looks like a photograph of a living man. A likely possibility is that they dressed someone in period garb to pose for a photograph to use on the cover.

    Parent
    This guy looks to me like (none / 0) (#25)
    by fishcamp on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 12:26:09 PM EST
    a typical Arab traveller from North Africa, similar to those depicted by the German author Karl May.  He wrote "in The Desert." and "Caravan of Death." and about thirty more adventure novels, some of which were translated into English.   Very typical traveling garb in the late 18th century, and probably earlier as well.

    Parent
    Amen. (none / 0) (#5)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 08:02:56 AM EST
    Attacking ISIS was the wrong choice. Getting more involved in a war with ISIS will be even worse. Even so, you can't brand all violent malcontents in the West with the ISIS label. The malcontents may be domestic terrorists, but all they got from ISIS was the idea to go big and bold, do it at home, don't share your plans, and a knife is good, but so is a gun, a rock, or running an enemy over with your car.

    The only one who can stop ISIS is ISIS, when it gets too big for its britches in the eyes of its rivals in the Middle East. Let the terrorists battle it out. We have no business there. But since it appears we are going to keep meddling and stinging ISIS and al Qaida, we can expect more of these lone wolf attacks at home, and not just by jihadist supporters.

    Thank you Jeralyn.
    Another brilliant and comprehensive post.

    In a nation of 300 million people (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jack203 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 08:16:27 AM EST
    These lone wolf snaps will happen.

    It can't be that easy to be Muslim in the West the last decade or so as the wars just don't seem to end.   I believe the main objective of this latest clash with ISIS is to protect the only people in the Middle East that have been an ally, the Kurds.  So we are protecting Muslims from other Muslims who have recently committed mass slaughters.

    However, and as usual, we are losing the propaganda war badly.

    Jeralyn, when the Kurds came begging for our help.  You honestly think we should have told them to take a hike?

    I thought we should have (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 12:34:14 PM EST
    helped the Yazidis on the mountain until the advisers said the Yazidis on the mountain didn't need our help. As for the rest of the Kurds, I think the countries there should have helped them. Turkey has the second largest airforce in NATO (we are first.) I explain my view in detail here.

    Parent
    We are definitely under siege (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 08:42:05 AM EST
    from the hysterical fear mongering media.  Just watching for a few minutes this morning I'm ready to crawl back in bed.  Or under it.

    I regret to say (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 08:46:41 AM EST
    that if something is not done about the war on young black men discussed frequently in these threads this-

    Zale Thompson is a big fan of Malcolm X. He believes the time has come for violent aggression against the oppressors of African Americans in the U.S. In another comment he says that Malcolm X would approve.

    Attitude may start gaining some traction.  Just putting myself in that place-as much as I am able-it would for me.

    And what do you want to extort... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jack203 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:53:10 AM EST
    with your overt threat of violence?

    Free money, more affirmitive action, Officer Wilson's head?

    When the average American reads and hears how violence is being justified from the left....it's no surprise to me they go to the other side.  And that's a damn shame.

    Also no surprise these lunatics hate Obama.  Extremists always hate the moderates.

     

    Parent

    What? (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 10:10:52 AM EST
    i dunno.  How about a national effort to stop killing unarmed young black men for no reason other than hysteria evident in your comment?

    How would that be?

    Parent

    That he chose a Moor for his (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 08:55:47 AM EST
    FB cover is instructive. People don't choose covers and/or monikers that don't reflect their interest and self identification.

    Moors were Muslims.

    I agree that we should not hyperventilate and that the media should not use words like "under siege." But the guidelines for them is "if it bleeds it leads" so don't expect restraint.

    However, it would have been helpful if the President, as national leader, would have calmly described Ft Hood and the OK beheading as isolated acts of terrorism by a radical Muslim created by a mistaken understanding and teaching of Islam and urged us to view them as that.

    By denying it he has created a situation akin to a man with a skin cancer on his nose. He can deny its existence but it's there for everyone to see.

    It was a lone wolf attack (none / 0) (#15)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:44:43 AM EST
    but thanks for repeating the National Review line as befits a 'social liberal'.

    Link

    Is Obama Convinced Hasan Was a Terrorist?  At ABC News, George Stephanopoulos thinks he has. "Here the President seems to have judged that Hasan was not criminally insane, but a political terrorist - twisted, to be sure - but acting consciously, driven to 'murderous and craven' acts by a perverted reading of the Muslim faith. And how about this conscious effort to equate today's military with 'the greatest generation.'"

    Here's what Obama said, BTW, but since he never used the word "Muslim terrorist", he was probably talking about Zoroastrian or Jain terrorism, right?

    It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know -- no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice -- in this world, and the next.

    These are trying times for our country. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the same extremists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans continue to endanger America, our allies, and innocent Afghans and Pakistanis. In Iraq, we are working to bring a war to a successful end, as there are still those who would deny the Iraqi people the future that Americans and Iraqis have sacrificed so much for.

    It might behoove you to do research before you post here in the future so that you don't embarrass yourself, as in the present case.

    Parent

    And since he never used (1.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 10:06:45 AM EST
    the words "muslim terrorist" then all you can do is posture, insult and make claims with nothing to back them.

    Speaking of words, I quote what I wrote:

    However, it would have been helpful if the President, as national leader, would have calmly described Ft Hood and the OK beheading as isolated acts of terrorism by a radical Muslim created by a mistaken understanding and teaching of Islam and urged us to view them as that.

    If you consider that a far right position then what is a "social liberal" position?? That we should never admit that muslim terrorists have attacked us during the reign of Obama and that 9/11 was the fault of Bush?????

    Parent

    Yes, this is obviously not talking about Muslim (none / 0) (#20)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 10:13:16 AM EST
    terrorists:

    In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the same extremists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans continue to endanger America, our allies, and innocent Afghans and Pakistanis.

    Everyone with half a brain and speaking English knew who he was talking about..........

    Speaking of which, what's your excuse?

    Parent

    We have both been warned about baiting and (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 12:04:01 PM EST
    insulting. Please stop.

    My point was and is that he didn't describe them for what they were. Actions by a Muslim terrorist.

    Failure to do so inflamed many on the Right that he could have shut down if he had done as I suggested.

    I do not know Obama's motives. But his lack of common sense and leadership are legion.

    I'm done.

    Parent

    You're the one who brought up Ft. Hood, (none / 0) (#22)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 12:11:11 PM EST
    So perhaps you could refrain from going off-topic on a thread, because that's one of the things that got some of your comments deleted here recently.

    Parent
    Feel free to delete (none / 0) (#27)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 12:35:39 PM EST
    My comments on this thread if you find them unproductive, Jeralyn.

    Parent
    jim the term (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 12:41:51 PM EST
    "m.terrorist" may not be used here. It is bigoted. You can use islamic fundamentalist, radical islamist, or terrorist without the moniker "Muslim" or any similar term that does not unfairly portray an entire religion or segment of the population with one broad brush. The same way you can't use the phrase "illegal" to describe a person on this site. Comments here show up in Google and search engines and i don't want such bigotry associated with this site or me.

    Parent
    The way people are treated... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:12:33 AM EST
    in this country by those sworn to serve and protect them, I'm amazed this kinda thing doesn't happen more often.

    Especially those of color (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:14:36 AM EST
    it truly is.

    Parent
    So far it looks like Thompson was simply (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 12:22:00 PM EST
    a disturbed individual:
    Thompson's activity on social media indicated he was a convert to Islam and included rants about injustices in American society and oppression abroad but offered no clear evidence of any affiliation with terror groups, police said.