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:
    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.

    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.