Islamic State says ‘soldiers of the Caliphate’ responsible for Garland shooting

The Islamic State has released a message on its Al Bayan radio program claiming that the shooting in Garland, Texas was the work of “two soldiers from the soldiers of the Caliphat‎e.” The claim, which was made in the group’s “news” bulletin, was first obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

The Islamic State says the exhibit in Texas “was holding a contest for drawings offensive to the Prophet Muhammad” and so “the brothers opened fire…which led to the wounding of one of the policemen tasked with protecting the exhibit,” according to SITE’s translation.

The group notes that the pair of terrorists (referred to as “the brothers”) were “killed during the exchange of fire” and asks “Allah to accept them in the highest rank of paradise.” The “news” item, which was also released in transcript form, ends with a threat “to the protector of the Cross,” America. The “coming ones are worse and more bitter, and you will see from the soldiers of the Islamic State what will hurt you, Allah permitting.”

“Tomorrow comes soon to those who look for it,” the Islamic State’s propagandists warn.

US officials are investigating whether the two shooters, identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, had any concrete ties to the Islamic State, or were supporters who decided to take up the group’s cause on their own. It is possible that Simpson made contact with Islamic State members via social media.

The Islamic State did not offer any new or specific details about the two terrorists in its claim.

Simpson made his allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization known. Prior to the shooting, he tweeted: “May Allah accept us as mujahideen.” The tweet included the hashtag “#texasattack.” Simpson also tweeted that he and his accomplice had sworn “bay’ah to Amirul Mu’mineen.” Bay’ah (or bayat) is an oath of allegiance and “Amirul Mu’mineen” means the “Leader of the Faithful,” a title usually reserved for the ruling caliph. Baghdadi has appropriated the title for himself, but it is also used to describe Taliban chieftain Mullah Omar.

Simpson was previously arrested and convicted of lying to federal authorities, receiving three years of probation as a sentence. According to court documents filed in his case, Simpson lied to FBI agents when he claimed that “he had not discussed traveling to Somalia, when in fact he had discussed with others traveling to Somalia for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad.”

The FBI began investigating Simpson in 2006, when authorities learned of his ties to an “individual whom the FBI believed was attempting to set up a terrorist cell in Arizona.” The FBI then asked an informant to befriend Simpson and record their conversations.

According to a court filing, Simpson discussed the necessity of waging jihad in defense of sharia law. During one conversation about the wars then raging overseas, Simpson told the informant that “they are trying to bring democracy over there man, they’re trying to make them live by man-made laws, not Allah’s laws.”

“That’s why they get fought,” Simpson surmised. “You try to make us become slaves to man? No we slave to Allah, we going to fight you to the death.”

Baghdadi’s followers believe that his group is implementing Allah’s true sharia law. However, most Muslims do not abide by the Islamic State’s radical version of Islamic law.

The shooting in Texas came shortly after al Qaeda, the Islamic State’s jihadist rival, claimed responsibility for several killings targeting supposed “blasphemers.” The leader of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Asim Umar, said in a statement that Ayman al Zawahiri had personally ordered attacks by al Qaeda’s branches on those in the West who offend Islamic beliefs. The massacre at Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris earlier this year was one such attack.

Therefore, both the Islamic State and al Qaeda are inciting their followers to lash out at people and organizations accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed. They are trying to portray their acts of terror, as well as those committed by their supporters, as a defense of Islam.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • jayc says:

    Hey, IS. Perhaps you will be quick to learn what all Americans already know….Don’t mess with Texas.

  • AZ says:

    But who won the cartoon contest? And trying to pull off this sort of an attack in the most gun crazy state in the US!

    On a more serious note. When is the US going to declare war? I doubt if Bart Simpson and his cohort would have been allowed to move freely if the FBI had the same war powers as the FBI had in WWII.

  • Buzz says:

    isis has been threatening America for a long time. These two murderers suffered from” sudden jihad syndrome” because they haven’t a clue what freedom of speech is or the 1st.amendment! !!
    isis doesn’t know it’s ass from a handful of hay! !! will take credit for any moslem muppet with an AK-47 who knows how to pull a trigger,and has been promised pairofdice.

  • irebukeu says:

    @AZ Declare war on who? Then do what? Remove the rights of Americans? When you say “…the same war powers as the FBI had in WWII”, do you mean the powers given and forced onto the FBI by the war powers act of 1941 and the second war powers act of 1942?

    Let us remember (and never forget) one special job of the FBI under “WWII wartime powers”, The arrest and capture of those American citizens who refused to willingly go into internment camps when their own government, without cause or due process turned on them. They were called Japanese-Americans but we know them today as ‘Americans’ who were victimized by their government

    The darkest days of the FBI occurred during WWII. Let us not forget about the first half dozen years of this century either.

    “Those once bitten by a snake, fear even a twisted rope.”

  • rtloder says:

    Yep Simpson was a fall guy, intellectually naive and who isn’t,?.
    Emotions are easily exploited.
    The proper denunciation of democracy by Salafist adherents such as myself is simply that Allah is reliant on the Elect as medium (Witness) between Divinity and Temporal and in which case the Elect Community must not becone the persuasion of political intrigue.
    John Calvin early 16Century exercised the dictatorship of Geneva on behalf of the Elect.

  • James says:

    “AZ Declare war on who?” Your statements just amaze me. The US Constitution quite clearly states (Article I Section 8, in relevant part) that “Congress shall have power to declare war”. It doesn’t have to be “ON” anything or anybody. It is the duty of the legislature (the Congress) to declare war. It is the duty of the executive (the president) to wage war.

  • irebukeu says:

    @James. Thank you for the response.
    So…just declare war? Just declare war? not on anyone or anything? but just for sake of being at war? Really?
    My quoted comment was a question and not a statement. It was “declare war on who? Then do what?
    Why not be less amazed at my ‘comments’ and take up my question you quoted?
    “Declare war on who?”
    “Then do what?”
    We are already under two authorizations from congress for the use of force.
    One pertaining to 9-11 (al qaeda) and the other pertaining to Iraq.
    The use of force against the attackers of 9-11 should cover IS, Nusra, Taliban, AQIM AQAP ect, ect, but could reasonably be updated by being reissued.
    –From the 2001 AUMF


    (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    A declaration of war is not needed. An authorization to use force has the needed effect. There is no national emergency except perhaps debt and drought. we have not been attacked by a nation state. A ‘state of war” is not needed.
    I do understand why some want a status of “war” and a “war footing”. Reasons vary but often it has effect of taking freedom away from Americans, forcing people who are unwilling, to go into military service, force private industry to do the bidding of the government to manufacture whatever is dreamed up as being needed for the war effort- dreamed up by government of course. Government control over prices, natural resources, manufactured goods, almost everything

    After we declare war on whoever, should we issue ration cards or induction notices?


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