FBI treating Philadelphia shooting as terror attack

FBI treating Philadelphia shooting as terror attack
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The FBI is investigating last week’s shooting of a Philadelphia police officer as a terrorist attack, an escalation sure to heighten scrutiny on the reach of extremists in the United States.

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Director James Comey, in brief remarks at the Pittsburgh field office on Wednesday, reportedly said that federal officials are exploring whether alleged gunman Edward Archer had any ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) before attacking Officer Jesse Hartnett. 

Police have said that Hartnett claimed to have been inspired by ISIS and carried out the ambush in the name of Islam. 

Last week, police say, Archer flagged down Hartnett's cruiser before firing multiple shots at close range. After being struck a series of times, Hartnett got out of his car and returned fire, hitting the shooter.

The officer survived and is currently receiving medical treatment for multiple gunshot wounds.

Archer was arrested shortly after the shooting and charged with attempted murder on Saturday.

According to reports, local and federal authorities are investigating the possibility that Archer is part of a larger group of radicals intent on attacking police.

Federal officials have been on edge for months about ISIS’s ability to spur others to violence half a world away.

Last month’s slaughter of 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., was carried out by a couple that is believed to have pledged support for ISIS and other extremist groups but was not directly under their control.

ISIS “is crowd-sourcing terrorism,” Comey said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, to capture “troubled souls” who it can motivate to carry out attacks.