ISIS has claimed responsibility for the two gunmen who opened fire at a Mohammed drawing contest in Garland, Texas.
Immediately after the attack, a confirmed ISIS member tweeted, “Allahu Akbar, two of our brothers just opened fire,” leading authorities to believe that ISIS leaders were aware of the attack taking place. The two suspects have been identified as Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson, two men who shared an Arizona apartment. Just moments before the attack, Simpson tweeted, “May Allah accept us as Mujahideen,” and declared his allegiance to ISIS in the same message. Soofi had already been convicted of making a false statement involving international and domestic terrorism in 2011 and was on the FBI’s watch list. He has likely been communicating with terrorist groups since then.
Fortunately, both terrorists were killed by a heroic police officer who quickly took them both down with just his duty handgun before they actually made it into the community center where the event was being held. One of the two attackers shot a guard before being themselves shot and killed.
Another tweet from ISIS read, “Let anyone who wants to draw the picture of our Prophet to think one thousand times before doing so, because our hands can reach his neck.”
A broadcast over ISIS’s radio referred to the two as their “brothers” and stated that they were “soldiers of the caliphate.” It is not clear whether ISIS gave Simpson and Soofi specific instructions for carrying out the attack or if they pledged their loyalty to ISIS and responded to a more broad call for those who cannot join them in Syria to carry out attacks at home, but it was certainly not a “lone wolf” attack.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest refused to acknowledge that this was indeed a terrorist attack. Instead, he referred to it as an “attempted terrorist attack” that was “averted.”
The attack was not “averted,” and it should not be referred to as an “attempted” terrorist attack. These two men were ISIS-affiliated terrorists and they did attack, firing numerous bullets at security guards on their way into the building. Their attack was cut short much sooner than they had hoped after only one person was injured, but it was certainly an attack. An averted attack is one that is caught in the planning stages and stopped before the plan goes into action. Not after two terrorists have already opened fire. Earnests’s statements appear to be in line with White House policy to minimize the threat of ISIS in the public eye.
Says one Twitter user, “I doubt the guy they shot agrees with the ‘attempted’ part.”