NEW YORK, KOMPAS.com - A Bosnian illegal immigrant in the US who ambushed then stabbed an NYPD police officer in the neck and stole his gun to shoot other officers had an interest in Islamic extremism.
The incident happened in June and the 21-year-old suspect, Dzenan Camovic, faces state charges including attempted aggravated murder.
He is also facing federal charges including theft and unlawful possession of a firearm.
In court papers filed with his indictment Thursday, prosecutors alleged that the Bosnian illegal immigrant had an interest in violent Islamic extremism and punctuated the attack with screams of “Allahu Akbar.”
Prosecutors also alleged that days after the attack, Dzenan Camovic told a hospital worker that “my religion made me do it.”
Camovic’s lawyer said arraignments could be scheduled within a few weeks.
The attack happened amid protests over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, leading to speculation among police and union officials that he had been inspired by anti-police rhetoric.
Officer Yayonfrant Jean Pierre and the other wounded officers survived their injuries.
Camovic's lawyer, Robert Stahl, refuted the government's assertion that his client showed support for the Islamic State or other terrorist groups.
Camovic “is a troubled young man in a number of respects, as opposed to having any terrorist or Islamic leanings", Stahl said in a telephone interview.
Federal prosecutors and the Brooklyn district attorney's office announced the indictments within minutes of each other Thursday, just as the police department was releasing surveillance and body camera footage that captured the chaotic scene just before midnight on June 3.
The video, some of which was previously made public, shows Camovic walking up and stabbing Jean Pierre in the neck as the officer stood on a street corner while assigned to an anti-looting patrol.
The bloodshed happened hours after an 8pm curfew that was intended to quell the at-times violent protests.