There is no actual evidence that Islamic State had an actual hand in it, but they have claimed responsibility for the attack outside a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas this week – and have since warned there are more attacks to come.
In a broadcast on its official radio channel this Tuesday, the group proclaimed it had carried out its first terrorist attack on American soil. The group said two Al Khilafa (Al Khilafa is how ISIS refers to its soldiers) opened fire outside the event in Garland, a Dallas suburb.
— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) May 5, 2015
The broadcast on Tuesday warned:
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.
The media is skeptical as to whether ISIS are truly behind the attack, as they didn’t provide any details. Some commentators have also asserted it could be nothing more than opportunism from the terrorist group to gain further notoriety.
Investigators are now probing social media to search for more evidence about their affiliations and loyalties to ISIS.
There are clues that at least one of the gunmen was an ISIS sympathiser. Moments before the attack, Elton Simpson tweeted with the hashtag #texasattack: “May Allah accept us as mujahideen.”
On Sunday the two men identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi approached the venue of the cartoon contest, organised by the American Freedom Defence Initiative, which also goes by the name Stop the Islamisation of America. Armed with assault rifles and wearing body armour, they opened fire on security personnel stationed outside, injuring a security guard in the process. A police officer returned fire and both attackers were killed before entering the event.
According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad – even a respectful one – is considered blasphemous.