Youssuf Saed Abdulazeez—the father of the gunman, who on Thursday killed four Marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee—is a Palestinian from the city of Nablus in the West Bank, and he was previously investigated by federal officials for connections to an unnamed terrorist organization, the New York Times reported.
Although it has been reported that the shooter was born in Kuwait, Kuwaiti authorities said their records showed he appeared to be of Jordanian origin, which is common among Palestinian people.
On Thursday, Mohammad Youssuf Albulazeez gunned down four Marines at a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in an attack that appeared to be motivated by Islamic extremism.
Officials told NBC News that the shooter’s father was briefly on a terror watch list because he sent financial contributions to a charity that was found to be linked to a terrorist organization, but that his case was closed.
Nablus is in the Fatah-run West Bank, a city overrun by terror groups such as Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. All three groups receive significant funding from the Islamic Republic of Iran, which just struck a controversial nuclear deal with the Obama administration and world powers.
Israeli authorities have described Nablus as “The Main Infrastructure of Palestinian Terrorism.” Terrorists in Nablus have “directed and executed suicide attacks in which scores of Israeli citizens were killed and over 400 were wounded,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said. During the intifadas, or terror uprisings, against Israel, the Washington Post wrote that Nablus “produced more suicide bombers than any other city.”
Israel still struggles to deter the constant threat of terrorism that comes from Nablus. This month, the IDF uncovered a 40-person Hamas cell in Nablus. An Israeli police spokesman said the group was “preparing the ground for terror attacks.”