The man suspected of stabbing an NYPD cop in the neck without warning is a “practicing Muslim” whose family is from Bosnia — but he’s “absolutely not a terrorist,” a relative who was interviewed by federal terrorism investigators said Thursday.
The relative also said that Dzenan Camovic, 20, never expressed any anti-police sentiment to him and questioned the official account of Wednesday night’s incident in Brooklyn.
‘“I’ve known him since he was 6-inches tall. That this is a terrorism, it’s illogical,” said the middle-aged man, who declined to give his name.
“He was raised here, [English] is his only language … He was as good of a child as a child could be.”
The relative’s comments came after law enforcement sources said authorities were investigating Wednesday night’s unprovoked attack as a possible act of terror, based in part on anti-cop messages that Camovic allegedly posted on social media.
Sources also said that while Camovic wasn’t on the radar of anti-terror investigators, he’d been in contact with people who were and his family may have a “nexus to terrorism.”
The relative, who was seen speaking to a pair of FBI agents outside the Brooklyn apartment building where Camovic lives with his parents and sister, said, “I have the utmost respect for law enforcement, but it’s easy to accuse a Muslim of terrorism.”
“It’s the first offense that comes to mind when someone mentions Muslim,” he said.
“He might have been attacked yesterday, it could have been provoked and he might have mentioned — like anyone would mention God — he might have said Allah, but no one knows. I just hope law enforcement will do their due diligence.”
Camovic’s relative also alluded to last week’s police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked protests across the country, including in New York City the past seven nights.
“I think they were also saying, the African American man who was killed, that he also attacked. That he was also violent,” the man said.
“This is how he got killed, and at the end of the day, we find out the truth.”
A neighbor, Christopher Song, 62, said he recognized Camovic from a news photo.
“He seemed like a quiet person, didn’t bother anybody,” Song said.
“For him to go up to a cop and stab him in the neck … It’s insane.”
Following the attack on Officer Yayonfrant Jean Pierre, Camovic allegedly grabbed another cop’s gun, which discharged during the ensuing struggle, leaving two other cops shot in the hand and the arm, sources have said.
Camovic was shot repeatedly by a sergeant who responded to the scene and was hospitalized in critical condition Thursday, while Pierre and the other injured officers, Randy Ramnarine and Dexter Chiu, were hospitalized in stable condition.
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