Monday 26 September 2016

Chattanooga suspect texted friend link to Koranic verse before attack which killed five men

Richard Valdmanis

Published 18/07/2015 | 19:22

This April 2015 booking photo released by the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office shows a man identified as Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeer after being detained for a driving offense.
This April 2015 booking photo released by the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office shows a man identified as Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeer after being detained for a driving offense.

Hours before the Tennessee shooting that killed five US servicemen, the suspected gunman texted his close friend a link to an Islamic verse that reads: "Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, then I have declared war against him."

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The friend, who requested anonymity, showed the text message to Reuters on Saturday. He was one of two friends who shared details about the suspect, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, who was killed in the gunfight in Chattanooga on Thursday.

Dozens of police and emergency vehicles crowd Amnicola Highway after a morning shooting at the Naval and Marine Reserve Center at the Chattanooga Riverpark in Chattanooga, Tenessee July 16, 2015. Four U.S. Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen act of domestic terrorism. REUTERS/Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO ARCHIVES. NO SALES. MANDATORY CREDIT
Dozens of police and emergency vehicles crowd Amnicola Highway after a morning shooting at the Naval and Marine Reserve Center at the Chattanooga Riverpark in Chattanooga, Tenessee July 16, 2015. Four U.S. Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen act of domestic terrorism. REUTERS/Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO ARCHIVES. NO SALES. MANDATORY CREDIT
Chattanooga police guard the entrance leading to the Naval Operational Support and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee July 16, 2015. Four Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Police tape and a makeshift memorial sit on the lawn in front of an Armed Forces Career Center in this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, where earlier in the day a gunman opened fire, injuring one U.S. Marine in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015, The gunman later moved to the nearby Navy Operational Support Center firing multiple shots, killing four Marines and injuring one sailor. REUTERS/Damon J. Moritz/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters
Police tape and a makeshift memorial sit on the lawn in front of an Armed Forces Career Center in this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, where earlier in the day a gunman opened fire, injuring one U.S. Marine in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015, The gunman later moved to the nearby Navy Operational Support Center firing multiple shots, killing four Marines and injuring one sailor. REUTERS/Damon J. Moritz/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters
A Tennessee Highway Trooper patrols near the scene of the shooting near the Naval Reserve Center, in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Bullet holes in the windows of the recruitment centre

Abdulazeez returned from a trip to Jordan in 2014 concerned about conflicts in the Middle East and the reluctance of the United States and other countries to intervene, the friends said.

US investigators are focusing on Abdulazeez's travels to the Middle East in an effort to understand his motives. The FBI is investigating the Chattanooga shooting as an act of domestic terrorism, though law enforcement officials said it was premature to speculate on the gunman's motive.

Authorities said Abdulazeez sprayed gunfire at a joint military recruiting center in a strip mall in Chattanooga, then drove to a Naval Reserve Center about six miles (10 km) away, where he killed four Marines before he himself was shot dead.

Three other people were injured, including a sailor who the Navy said died on Saturday.

Reuters

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