The ambush shooting of a Philadelphia police officer a week ago is now being investigated as a terrorist attack, according to the FBI.
FBI Director James Comey spoke briefly about the investigation Wednesday in Pittsburgh, reported The Associated Press.
Police said Edward Archer, 30, told them he was acting in the name of Islam when he opened fire on Officer Jesse Hartnett's marked cruiser on Jan. 7 at a Philadelphia intersection. The officer was wounded.
Archer is charged with attempted murder but hasn't entered a plea. His mother says he had been hearing voices and felt targeted by police.
Police said Archer pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
Comey said the Islamic State has been "crowd-sourcing terrorism," noted the AP, and he said it uses social media to encourage violence and its message "tends to resonate with troubled souls."
“Your parents' al Qaeda was a group that was focused on national landmarks, sophisticated ... events, carefully chosen operatives, lots of surveillance, and then trying to deliver the big thing. That was al Qaeda's culture.”
“This is entirely different, first in the way the message comes. They are crowd-sourcing terrorism, using Twitter and other forms of social media to try to motivate anybody” to conduct an attack, he was quoted as saying.
Comey's comments at the Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Pittsburgh and reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, were confirmed to Reuters by an FBI spokesman.
FBI investigators were seeking to find out if Archer was in touch with or inspired by anyone linked to Islamic State.
Police said on Sunday that a man stopped officers patrolling near the site of the attack and warned that Archer had been part of a group of four men who may pose a danger to police.
In the attack caught on video, a gunman police say was Archer was seen shooting into a patrol car driven by Hartnett, 33, who was shot in the arm but managed to fire back. Archer, who sustained a bullet wound to the buttocks, was arrested at the scene and charged with attempted murder.
Archer, police said, told them that the attack was done "in the name of Islam."
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