Bosnian Man Inspired By Islamic Terrorism Allegedly Stabbed, Shot Police Officers During Riots In New York

(Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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A Bosnian man illegally in the U.S. was indicted after allegedly taking advantage of anti-police rioting in New York City to stab and shoot NYPD officers as part of an Islamic terrorism-inspired attack, a Justice Department statement said.

Dzenan Camovic allegedly stabbed a police officer on anti-looting duties in the neck, and then forcibly took a second officer’s firearm and shot him in the hand. He then used the gun to injure several other officers in the attack and robbery, the statement says.

The attack happened June 3, when New York City was under a nightly curfew due to rioting that followed the death of George Floyd. In the Justice Department statement, Attorney General William Barr says Camovic took advantage of the circumstances to attack the police, while allegedly shouting “Allahu Akbar” repeatedly. (RELATED: ‘We Should All Be Concerned’: US General Says The Islamic State Is Rebuilding In Syria)

“Dzenan Camovic, an illegal alien and Bosnian national, is alleged to have used the cover of chaos during recent civil unrest in New York City to launch a premeditated and cowardly ambush against two New York City Police officers, brutally slashing one with a knife, stealing his weapon and opening fire, and injuring several responding officers,” Barr said.

Camovic is alleged to have carried out the attack to further an agenda associated with ISIS and al-Qaeda. Officials reported that they found a significant volume of materials related to the terror groups, and that he called for violence by extremist groups. Prosecutors reportedly alleged that Camovic told a medical worker at Kings County Hospital that he thought he killed the two officers he stabbed and shot, and that “my religion made me do it,” according to NBC News reporter Tom Winter.

Winter also said a search of the suspect’s bedroom turned up lectures from Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American cleric who was linked to a series of terrorist attacks and plots across the world, including the September 11, 2001 attacks and the shootings at Ford Hood in November 2009.

Barr adds that the attack is the second one motivated by Islamist extremism in the U.S. in the last nine months where the attacker used encrypted technology to conceal their activities.

The indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday, charges Camovic with Hobbs Act robbery, using and discharging a firearm during that robbery, theft of a firearm that moved in interstate commerce and unlawful possession of a firearm as an illegal alien. He is currently in state custody. 

“Dzenan Camovic, as outlined in the indictment, was a consumer of terrorist propaganda and calls for violence by groups like al-Qaida and ISIS,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in the statement.

“His premeditated ambush of two New York City police officers can never be accepted.  As the investigation continues into his motives, these significant federal charges reinforce the notion that an attack against police officers is an attack against society.”

If convicted, Camovic faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.