At a Glance | February 5

Man Who Shot Philadelphia Police Officer in Name of ISIS Found Guilty

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A Delaware County, Pennsylvania, man who pledged his allegiance to ISIS faces decades in prison for shooting a Philadelphia police officer two years ago. Edward Archer, 32, was found guilty February 1 of attempted murder and aggravated assault in the ambush attack of Office Jesse Hartnett, 36, on January 7, 2016. Archer fired 13 shots while wearing a white gown and walking toward the patrol car Hartnett was sitting in. Hartnett was struck three times and suffered arm damage that has required 11 surgeries thus far. Despite his injury, the officer managed to exit his vehicle and fired back at Archer, hitting him in the buttocks. Archer was arrested a few blocks away. In a video played by prosecutors during the two-week trial, Archer told detectives he was motivated by his allegiance to ISIS, that police officers enforce laws other than Allah’s, and that he would fight against disbelievers. Authorities did not find any evidence linking Archer to a terrorist organization. Archer would not answer basic questions during the trial and repeatedly refused to talk with his attorneys, who failed to have him declared incompetent for trial. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 14.


Pennsylvania Teen in Thwarted School Shooting Assembled Collection of Weapons in Bedroom

An arsenal of weapons was discovered inside the bedroom of a 14-year-old male student from Henry Clay Township, Pennsylvania, who threatened to carry out a school shooting. After receiving a tip on January 25, authorities went to the teen’s home and learned of a plan to target a family member and four students at Uniontown Area High School the following day. A search of the residence uncovered a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, two lever-action rifles, a revolver, a crossbow, and bulk ammunition for all weapons in the student’s bedroom. Throwing knives and two machetes were also retrieved. Authorities learned of the threats after being contacted by a parent whose child overheard the remarks on the bus. Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower said the student expressed dislike for the four students and his uncle, stated how easy it would be to sneak a gun into the school, and mentioned using a rifle or shotgun for mass casualties. The teen is charged with making terroristic threats, possession of a firearm by a minor and criminal attempt to commit catastrophe.


Report Finds Propaganda From White Supremacists on Rise Across US College Campuses

White supremacist groups are targeting college campuses in the United States more than ever for propaganda distribution and recruitment of new followers, according to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report released on February 1. The ADL’s Center on Extremism tracked 346 incidents on 216 college campuses in 44 states and Washington, DC, since September 1, 2016. Incidents during the fall semester in 2017 (147) more than tripled from 2016 (41). A total of 290 incidents occurred in 2017, while 15 incidents have taken place so far in 2018. “They see campuses as a fertile recruiting ground, as evident by the unprecedented volume of propagandist activity designed to recruit young people to support their vile ideology,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. Ten incidents occurred in New Jersey, while Texas was the hardest-hit state with 61. Identity Evropa was the most active group with 158 incidents linked to its members. The ADL previously reported that white supremacists were responsible for 18 of 34 extremist-related killings in the United States in 2017.


For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at analysis@njohsp.gov or 609-584-4000.