The Islamic man who allegedly entered an East Texas church on Sunday and ranted that God had authorized him to kill Christians and other infidels has been formally charged with making a terroristic threat.
Wearing combat gear, including a helmet and tactical vest, the man reportedly entered the church and began ranting about killing people to the pastor. The pastor talked him down and no one was hurt.
Rasheed Abdul Aziz, 40, is currently being held in the Smith County jail in Tyler, Texas, on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Deputies arrested him on Sunday after allegedly making the threats against the members of the Corinth Church, located just east of Lake Palestine. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s office, where the incident took place, announced Wednesday morning that his office had filed terroristic threat charges with the local district attorney’s office, according to CBS19’s Gerardo Martinez.
Section 22.07 of the Texas Penal Code defines the offense of Terroristic Threat as:
Sec. 22.07. TERRORISTIC THREAT. (a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
(1) cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
(2) place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
(3) prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place;
(4) cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
(5) place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
(6) influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
The offense is a third degree felony punishable by not less than two years in prison and not more than ten years in prison. A fine of not more than $10,000 can also be levied after conviction.
The felon in possession of a firearm charge is also a third degree felony as defined under Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code.
Breitbart Texas reported earlier on Wednesday that Aziz had asked a church deacon if he could meet in prayer with the pastor shortly before the 11 a.m. service. Aziz then confronted Corinth Missionary Baptist Church pastor, Rev. John D. Johnson III, on Sunday morning. Johnson said that Aziz told him God had authorized him to take lives, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
Johnson used his training from earlier in his life to defuse the situation and get his parishioners to safety.
Bob Price serves as senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.