GARLAND, Texas – The terrorist group ISIS is claiming credit for Sunday’s attack on the Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest. The group called the gunmen “soldiers of the caliphate” and promised more attacks will follow.
The message was transmitted in an audio statement through the group’s Al Bayan radio station, according to an AP report published on the website for ABC13 News in Houston. It was not clear if the shooters were acting under direct orders from the Islamic State, or if they pledged their allegiance to ISIS and then acted on their own.
The suspects have been identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix, Arizona by officials. The shooting is presumably an outraged reaction to the art exhibit, which displayed many depictions of the prophet Mohammad. This is considered to be blasphemous, even if the depiction is respectful in nature.
“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,” an alleged ISIS member posted on social media.
Another post stated, “How are you (Americans) going to live when we create our lone wolves to be nuclear bombs … by God, you can’t match us and in the heart of your homes you will see.”
The authenticity of the statement has not yet been independently confirmed, the AP report stated.
Three members of the Breitbart Texas team, including this writer, were inside the conference during the attack. Pamela Geller, the event’s organizer, was conducting an exclusive interview with this writer when the attack began. Geller was quickly extricated from the building by her security detail and Garland police.
One patrol officer of the Garland Police Department single-handedly stopped the two attackers. While taking heavy fire from the gunmen, the veteran officer returned fire with his service pistol, ending the terrorist assault by dropping both gunmen.