A Texas police officer shot and killed two armed gunmen with assault rifles on Sunday May 3, 2015. The police officer is from the Garland Police Department. The two gunmen, who lived and drove 1,100 from Phoenix, went to disrupt the Muhammad Cartoon Drawing Contest held in a Dallas suburb of Garland. The event was held at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas where the two gunmen drove up to the parking lot and shot and wounded a security guard and slammed into a police car before the officer shot and killed them. Their intention was to enter the event and kill the attendees. This attack in Texas could be linked to the first ISIS attack on U.S. soil.
American Freedom Defense Initiative was the group that coordinated and hosted the event for the $10,000 Muhammad Cartoon drawing contest. It is basically a freedom of speech convention that featured images of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, with historical and current images as well as, speeches that were presented by some of the most recognized speech advocates. Whether these drawings are presented in a positive or negative light they are still looked upon as insulting or blasphemous to many Islam followers and have resulted in many violent outbursts around the world. The intention of this convention was to make a stand for freedom of speech, confirms the president of the group that hosted the event, Pamela Geller. This violent attack was taken as a protest against freedom of speech.
This raid could be linked to the radical Islam group, ISIS, as two tweets were sent prior to the charge with the hashtag “Texas attack”, foreshadowing what was about to happen. On Tuesday, the radical group proudly claimed responsibility for Sunday’s events. This contest featured images of the Muslim prophet Muhammed. This will mark ISIS’ first admission of an attack on U.S. soil. The admission came through on the group’s Al Bayan radio station in the Syrian city of Raqqa. This violent attack is just a message to let the American people know that this is just the beginning of what is to come. Stating, to look out for more bitter and aggressive protests.
On January 12, 2015, a similar attack occurred at a Paris newspaper office. Journalists there have also used images of the Prophet Mohammad. As a result, ISIS supposedly launched an attack that gunned down several members of the newspaper. The radical Islam has found an extreme method to their madness and is taking down reporters and groups that are standing up for their rights. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul claimed that, days before a memo was circulated to Homeland Security and FBI, so security was increased. Being prepared for anything, local police, SWAT team, FBI and ATF were present just outside the event. This very disturbing attack in Texas was the first attack by ISIS on American soil and there may be more to come in the future.
The gunman’s motives are still being investigated, but they were encouraged to go through with attacks through social media contacts. Both gunmen had a previous past with the police. As a result of the shooting, the exhibit was placed on lock-down and the 75 attendees to a nearby high school. Police suspected a bomb in the gunmen’s care and bomb squad was on the scene, evacuating surrounding businesses.
Not knowing what comes next or when and where the next attack will be is the most frustrating part, for all who are worried about this attack that ISIS claimed. Innocent people are being killed, simply for standing by what they believe in. The freedom of speech advocates are brave and will keep on with their agenda, which is to communicate the ever popular fifth amendment right of the constitution. There is no telling what the future will hold, but there is fear that these attacks will not stop anytime soon. This first Texas attack on U.S. soil by ISIS just the marks the beginning of a very difficult war ahead, a war that must be won. Texas was just an example of how serious these issues can get.
By Elina Brik