DALLAS (Christian Examiner) – The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the terror attack on a free speech event and Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, May 3.
In an audio statement released on the group's official radio station, Al Bayan, a spokesman for the terror group called the gunmen "two soldiers of the soldiers of the caliphate."
FBI agents have searched the Phoenix apartment of the men who carried out the attack, but investigators have not yet established an official connection between the two gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, and ISIS. Such connections, however, are not necessarily required for ISIS to claim responsibility for an attack.
The ISIS spokesman said the event was hosting a "contest for drawings offensive to the Prophet Muhammad," a translation of the radio message from the SITE Intelligence Group revealed. Islamic law forbids depicting Muhammad in paintings and insulting his status as a supposed prophet. According to the statement, "the brothers opened fire ... which led to the wounding of the policeman tasked with protecting the exhibit."
No policeman was wounded in the attack. However, a Garland ISD security officer was shot in the ankle. He was treated and released from a hospital shortly after the attack.
As is typical with such statements from ISIS, the group also warned of future attacks, this time inside America. The statement said future attacks would be "worse and more bitter."
"You will see from the soldiers of the caliphate what will hurt you, Allah permitting," the statement said.