Gunman sent ‘war’ text just before attacks
Published 20/07/2015 | 02:30
The gunman who killed five US troops in Tennessee had sent a text to a friend declaring “war” just hours before the attack.
Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez sent a friend a long Islamic verse that included the line: “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of mine, then I have declared war against him.”
Abdulazeez (24) died in a shootout with police after attacking two military sites in Chattanooga on Friday.
His family said in a statement that their son suffered from depression, and was no longer the son they knew.
“There are no words to describe our shock, horror and grief,” said the statement.
“The person who committed this horrible crime was not the son we knew and loved. For many years, our son suffered from depression. It grieves us beyond belief to know that his pain found its expression in this heinous act of violence.”
The family added they are cooperating with the investigation.
“Now is the time to reflect on the victims and their families, and we feel it would be inappropriate to say anything more other than that we are truly sorry for their loss,” the statement said.
The FBI is treating the shooting as a terrorism investigation and wants to find out whether Abdulazeez was inspired or directed by any terrorist organisation.
The Kuwaiti-American made several trips to the Middle East, including one to Jordan last year.
In Chattanooga, a city that prides itself on strong ties between people of different faiths, some Muslims feared the community’s perception of them had changed after the shooting rampage.
Mohsin Ali, a member of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, said he hoped the local community didn’t dissolve into turmoil.
“We, our kids, feel 100pc American and Chattanoogan,” said the Pakistani-born Mr Ali, who is a child psychiatrist.