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January 09, 2016

Report: Suspect who ambushed Philly cop traveled to Middle East twice since 2011

Police say man pledged allegiance to Islamic State after shooting

The man who ambushed a Philadelphia police officer in West Philadelphia Thursday night, shooting him in an attack that detectives say he admits was in allegiance with "the Islamic State," traveled to the Middle East twice in recent years, according to a report.

Edward Archer of Delaware County went to Saudi Arabia in 2011, according to 6ABC. That's in addition to previous reports of Archer, 30, traveling to Egypt in 2012. He was not on any terror watch lists, the news station reports. More from 6ABC:

Law enforcement sources say Archer's first trip was to Saudi Arabia in 2011 for Hajj. He then traveled to Egypt in 2012. Both trips departed from New York-area airports.
The FBI says it is investigating to see whether those travels were merely for the Muslim pilgrimage or if they played a role in Friday's shooting.

Archer hit officer Jesse Hartnett, a four-year veteran of the department, three times in the left arm after firing off 13 shots at him while Hartnett was sitting in his police cruiser at 60th and Spruce streets.

Hartnett returned fire, hitting Archer three times. Archer was struck in the buttocks, police say. 

He used a firearm stolen in 2013. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Archer "confessed to committing this cowardly act in the name of Islam."

Source/Philadelphia Police

A still photo taken from surveillance camera shows Edward Archer, 30, of Yeadon, firing at Philadelphia Police car driven by officer Jesse Hartnett.

Police say Archer pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and said he follows Allah in an interview after his arrest.

Mayor Jim Kenney asked that people not blame the Muslim faith for the shooting, a comment that drawn some backlash.

Hartnett, 33, survived the attack and was taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital. The shooting is still under investigation.