Headline after headline delivers basically the same breaking news:”ISIS claim responsibility for shooting at Texas Muhammad cartoon contest – Fox News“ISIS claims responsibility for Texas shooting, threatens more attacks – CNN“Garland Shooting: ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attack – NBC News“ISIS Claims Link to Shooting at Texas Event Showing Muhammad Cartoons” – The New York Times
But what these and other headlines don’t tell you is that, as the online Fox News report reveals several sentences into the body of the piece, “it was not immediately clear whether the group’s claim was an opportunistic co-opting of a so-called ‘lone wolf’ attack as its own.” In other words, the Islamic State terror organization may have made itself seem more powerful, more influential, more far-reaching, more of a threat to Western civilization simply by claiming it was behind the attack by two Islamists on the Muhammad cartoon event in Garland, Texas.
Yes, at least one of the two men shot and killed by police as the pair opened fire outside the meeting center where the event was wrapping up reportedly had known terror ties, as Western Journal reported on Monday. However, there’s been no official confirmation from investigators that the pair were dispatched or controlled by ISIS. The claim of responsibility for the attack, if valid, would mark the first time ISIS has been known to carry out such an assault on U.S. soil.
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CNN reports that the ISIS claim was made in a Tuesday broadcast over its official radio channel:
,,,the group said two Al Khilafa soldiers opened fire outside the event in Garland, a suburb of Dallas. Al Khilafa is how ISIS refers to its soldiers.
The ISIS radio announcer also referred to Simpson and Soofi as the terror group’s “brothers.” The announcement ended with this warning:
“We say to the defenders of the cross, the U.S., that future attacks are going to be harsher and worse. The Islamic State soldiers will inflict harm on you with the grace of God. The future is just around the corner.”
Much like the Fox News report, the online CNN article on the ISIS claim notes that “there was no immediate indication that the terror group in Iraq and Syria actually had contact with Simpson or Soofi, who both lived in Phoenix.”
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Given reports of the rivalry between ISIS and al Qaeda forces for what could be called “top billing” among terrorist organizations, the quick claim by the Islamic State group could be seen as an attempt to enhance its resume, so to speak. In a recent analysis of the battle between the two groups for dominance in the terror world — a piece entitled ISIS vs. Al Qaeda: Jihadism’s global civil war” — two foreign policy experts writing for the website Brookings noted:
Who will emerge triumphant is not clear. However, the implications of one side’s victory or of continuing division are profound for the Middle East and for the United States, shaping the likely targets of the jihadist movement, its ability to achieve its goals and the overall stability of the Middle East.
As for the investigation of the Sunday attack in Texas, Fox News says that, not only has there been no official word that ISIS was responsible, but federal authorities haven’t even labeled the assault by the two Muslim men a terror attack.
“Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement Monday that law enforcement authorities are investigating the men’s motives and all circumstances surrounding the attack.”
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