On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers have been notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding an attack by gunmen on a "Draw Muhammad" contest in Garland, TX, as well as follow-on threats issued by the Islamic State and its supporters in the wake of the incident.
On Sunday (5/3), AlertsUSA subscribers were notified shortly after two heavily armed gunmen opened fire outside of the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. The event was hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. One police officer was injured in the attack. Both gunmen quickly assumed room temperature after a short firefight with another officer and four members of a SWAT team already deployed to the location.
Early reports indicated that the gunmen had bombs in their car, but Garland Police Department have since stated this report was false.
One of the gunmen, Elton Simpson of Phoenix, AZ, was previously convicted of lying to the FBI, having denied he had made plans to go to Somalia to become a jihadist, when in fact he had. He was given three years probation instead of jail time.
Just hours before the Sunday attack, Simpson posted a message to his Twitter account stating:
"The bro with me and myself have given bay'ah to Amirul Mu'mineen. May Allah accept us as mujahideen.
“Bay’ah” is an oath of allegiance, and "Amirul Mu’mineem" is a phrase meaning “leader of the faithful.” It is presumed that he was referring to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
It is also clear that individuals overseas had prior knowledge of the plot. Two social media accounts tweeted messages about the attack before it happened. One such message sent just over an hour before the incident read;
The knives have been sharpened, soon we will come to your streets with death and slaughter!”
Federal investigators believe a former Minnesota resident, Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan, now believed to be located in Somalia, was behind some of the advanced messaging. Hassan, who goes by the name Mujahid Miski, left Minnesota to join the terror organization al-Shaab in 2008.
Late this week FBI director James Comey revealed that the bureau itself knew something was amiss and warned police in Garland, Texas, about three hours before the shooting of intel suggesting one gunmen was "interested in the event," but gave no indication an attack was planned.
THREATS OF MORE ATTACKS
On Tues (5/5), AlertsUSA subscribers were notified the Islamic State formally claimed responsibility for the attack via a broadcast on its official radio channel, calling the gunmen "two soldiers of the caliphate" and issuing a stark new threat.
"We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things.
This is the first time the Islamic State has formally claimed responsibility for an attack on U.S. soil.
On Wed (5/6), AlertsUSA subscribers were also notified of and sent special updates concerning a new message issued either by, or on behalf of, the Islamic State threatening a 6-month terror campaign against US, and which claims there are 71 fighters already located in 15 states. Five states, VA,MD,IL,CA & MI, were specifically mentioned.
On Thursday, FBI Director James Comey stated there are "hundreds, maybe thousands" of people across the country who are receiving recruitment overtures from the terrorist group or directives to attack the U.S.. "It's like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying 'kill, kill, kill.''' In a meeting with reporters, Director Comey said the Islamic State is leveraging social media in unprecedented ways, directing messages to the smart phones of those who could be pushed to launch assaults on U.S. targets.
On Friday (5/8), AlertsUSA subscribers were also notified of an order from the Pentagon raising the security operating conditions at U.S. military installations nationwide due to a growing concern of a jihadist threat in the U.S.. U.S. bases are now operating at what is referred to as Force Protection Condition Bravo, the 3rd of 5 different operating levels. The increased security measures include stricter inspections of vehicles, deliveries, and ID checks, increased security patrols in and around installations and more. The order was signed by Admiral William Gortney, head of the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
HOW DOES THIS IMPACT YOU?
As AlertsUSA has repeatedly cautioned, we urge readers to be extra discerning in the face of the constant drone about Islam being a religion of peace and these attacks are the result of twisted interpretations by radically minded individuals. The truth of the matter is that one only needs to be a motivated, devout Muslim. Harsh? Yes. The truth? Yes. The teachings and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad are absolutely clear for anyone who takes five minutes to look into the matter: All good Muslims must wage war on unbelievers and other religions and bring them into submission. This is not an extreme interpretation, but a core foundation of the faith and has been the rational behind the ongoing aggression of Islam for over 1000 years. You can read previous AlertsUSA Threat Journal coverage of these truths here, here and here.
While pressures of multiculturalism, political correctness and "dhimmitude" demand our elected officials downplay, and frankly, lie about these truths, the reality of the situation does not change. These individuals constantly referred to as "radicals" are actually just walking the walk as explicitly called for in hundreds of passages within the Koran and Hadiths (refer to the free resources further down this page to see them for yourself).
EXPECT MORE ATTACKS
Unlike the al Qaeda operational model of using organized, centrally controlled teams, or cells, for strikes, the Islamic State has been extremely effective at motivating individual supporters in the West to action. AlertsUSA warns that as the tempo of such attacks increases, more individuals will likely be emboldened, particularly if the attacks have the desired effect of spreading fear and additional acquiescence to the ultimate goal: The advancement of Islam.
A similar situation was seen during the Islamic State's initial rise to power. As battles were won, territory secured and other significant gains made, thousands of foreign fighters from Western nations were emboldened and began pouring into the region to join the battle.
AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the overall domestic and international terrorism threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens, as events warrant.