A just-released French-language ISIS magazine lauds the “soldiers of the caliphate” in Texas who attacked a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.
The gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, drove from Phoenix to the Texas event last month, wounding a security guard before being shot and killed by police.
“Two soldiers of the Caliphate opened fire on a contest of caricatures of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him ) in the name of freedom of expression that took place in Texas in the city of Garland,” said the magazine, Dar al-Islam. “They have thus proved that the disbelievers cannot insult our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him ) without exposing themselves to heavy sanctions, and anywhere on earth. May Allah accept their martyrdom.”
The magazine includes photos from the recent fall of Palmrye in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq.
ISIS’ official operations bulletin as well as their radio station Al-Bayan claimed responsibility for the attack soon afterward. Simpson was flagged by the FBI in 2010 for trying to join jihad in Somalia and more recently for tweeting on behalf of the Islamic State. He tweeted about the attack before it happened and praise for his involvement — and additional oblique threats of attacks in the U.S. — spread quickly among ISIS tweeps.
“The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah [province] in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter,” stated the message to “brothers and sisters fighting for the Sake of Allah,” posted on an online file-sharing site days after the attack by a user claiming to be an ISIS-affiliated American.
“This will heal the hearts of our brothers and disperse the ones behind her. To those who protect her: this will be your only warning of housing this woman and her circus show. Everyone who houses her events, gives her a platform to spill her filth are legitimate targets. We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers. We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the Sake of Allah.”
The message said ISIS has stationed “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire.”
“Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan,” the posting continued. “The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.”
“The next six months will be interesting, To our Amir Al Mu’mineen make dua for us and continue your reign, May Allah enoble your face,” it concluded, using an honorific title for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.