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FBI Investigating Philadelphia Police Ambush as Terrorism

  • VOA News

FILE - A still image from surveillance video shows a gunman approaching a Philadelphia police vehicle in which Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot shortly before midnight Jan. 7, 2016.

FILE - A still image from surveillance video shows a gunman approaching a Philadelphia police vehicle in which Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot shortly before midnight Jan. 7, 2016.

The FBI is investigating the shooting of a Philadelphia police officer as a terrorist attack.

FBI Director James Comey told reporters Wednesday that last week's ambush would be treated as a terrorism investigation.

Police said Edward Archer approached Officer Jesse Hartnett's patrol car on January 7 and fired several bullets at close range. Despite being seriously wounded, Hartnett got out of his car, chased the suspect and returned fire, wounding his attacker. Other officers arrested Archer a short while later.

Police said Archer confessed to the shooting, saying he was following Allah and had pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State militant group. Archer allegedly told investigators he believed the police department defends laws that are contrary to Islam.

Archer was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer and several firearms crimes.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 25.

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