After he shot a Philadelphia police officer with a stolen police firearm Thursday night, Edward Archer told investigators that he had acted “in the name of Islam,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. “I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic State, and that’s why I did what I did,” Archer told detectives, said Homicide Capt. James Clark. Investigators are working to determine whether Archer, 30, had any ties to terrorist groups or whether he had acted alone. Archer’s mother said her son had been “hearing voices in his head” and needed medical help. Investigators are scouring Archer’s Internet activity to see if he may have had contact with ISIS members or other radical Islamic groups. Federal authorities are also looking into two trips Archer made to the Middle East.
In the fall of 2011, he traveled to Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage to Mecca and stayed for several weeks. The next year, he went to Egypt for reasons that are unclear and spent several months there. Police praised the bravery of the wounded officer, Jesse Hartnett, who was shot three times in an arm but still managed to pursue and wound Archer as he fled the scene. The officer, 33, was in critical but stable condition. Mayor Jim Kenney called Archer a criminal and said his actions were no reflection on Islam. The Inquirer later reported that a woman told another officer anonymously Saturday night that officers are in danger because three “radical” associates of Archer were at large. Police officials, taking the tip seriously as they worked with federal authorities to verify it, ordered patrol officers to go out with partners until further notice.