Police called the brutal attack on a group of police officers in Queens on Wednesday an "act of terror." Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said of the hatchet-wielding man, Zale Thompson, "We at this time believe that he acted alone. We would describe him as self-radicalized. We would describe him as self-directed in his activities."

Thompson, 32, was shot to death after he ran at a group of four rookie cops in Jamaica, Queens and started to strike them. One officer, Kenneth Healey, was hit in the head, leaving his skull fractured. Another officer was hit in the arm. A female bystander was hit by a stray bullet.

The police got a warrant to search Thompson's Queens home. From the NY Times:

What emerged was a portrait of a man officials described as an out-of-work recluse, who spent hours in his room on the computer browsing radical websites and occasionally left comments on Facebook and YouTube that disparaged whites and Christians and most recently supported violent jihad...

In comments on Facebook and YouTube, retrieved by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity, Mr. Thompson described white Christians as “aggressive and violent” and reproached the “Christianized Negro” for following the faith “his slave master gave him.”

On a YouTube video in support of an Islamic caliphate, a commenter named Zale Thompson made remarks seemingly sympathetic to violent jihad.

“If the Zionists and the Crusaders had never invaded and colonized the Islamic lands after WW1, then there would be no need for jihad!” the commenter wrote. “Which is better, to sit around and do nothing, or to jihad.”

The Post reports that Thompson repeatedly watched beheading videos and John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counter-Terrorism, said, "It appears that this is something he has been thinking about for some time."

While authorities believe that Thompson acted by himself, the NY Times has a story about global incidents of apparently radicalized terrorism: "The series of episodes over just the last four weeks is raising new fears about the capacity of the extremists who call themselves the Islamic State to catalyze so-called lone-wolf attacks, conceived and carried out by individuals or small groups around the Western world who may have little or no connection to the Islamic State. 'The Al Qaeda ‘fan boys’ never did this, definitely not in so coordinated a fashion in so close a time,' said William McCants, a scholar of Islamist militancy at the Brookings Institution."