Archer had traveled to Middle East twice in recent years

Saturday, January 9, 2016
VIDEO: More on the man charged in police officer shooting
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Police say 30-year-old Edward Archer has confessed to opening fire on Ofc. Jesse Hartnett, saying he did it "in the name of Islam."

YEADON, Pa. (WPVI) -- Action News has learned 30-year-old Edward Archer traveled twice in recent years to the Middle East, but was not on any terror watch lists.

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.

Police say Archer has confessed to opening fire on Officer Jesse Hartnett, saying he did it "in the name of Islam."

Archer lives with his mother on South Maple Avenue in Yeadon, Delaware County, and that home was the subject of much scrutiny Friday by police investigators.

Detectives served a search warrant on the home, looking for any evidence that radical Islam may have been behind his brutal attack on the officer.

The home is now an active crime scene that police hope will provide more clues about Archer's past, and his motive.

In a statement to detectives, Archer says he was called to kill police by Allah.

At a press conference Friday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross explained, "According to him, he believed that the police defend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran."

But the question is: Was it radicalization or just the acts of a violent criminal who used a stolen police weapon to fire at Officer Hartnett 13 times?

Commissioner Ross says, "I think he was savvy enough to stop just short of implicating himself in a conspiracy with anything... even if one exists, we don't know right now."

His criminal history shows in 2013 Archer was arrested by Philadelphia police for terroristic threats and gun charges. He pleaded guilty to carrying a firearm without a license and assault, which carried a 9 to 23 month sentence.

Archer was immediately paroled for time served. In his sentencing reports he states he had never seen a doctor or been hospitalized for mental illness, and that he was not under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

He was also arrested by police in Media, Delaware County, at the end of 2012 and was found guilty on six counts, including forgery, altering a document, careless driving and driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Archer was set to be sentenced for that crime on Monday.

But those criminal records provide no trail linking Archer to any terrorist teachings or that he was radicalized.

Neighbor Natalie King says the family was quiet, and there was no evidence anyone in the family was an extremist or radicalized.

King tells us, "They were just regular, normal people who minded their own business."

On Friday afternoon, the small street with just 12 houses was roped off as officers executed a search warrant inside.

Yeadon's mayor, Rohan Hepkins, tells us, "You never suspect that this type of activity or individuals like this is living so close."

Law enforcement are now hoping that their search of the home and a second residence in Philadelphia will uncover Archer's true motive, and determine if he had been communicating with ISIS or looking at online propaganda.