The Chattanooga Free Times Press (TCFTP) reported on the background of the perpetrator of the shooting at a Chattanooga, Tennessee Naval and Marine Reserve Center this morning that took the lives of 4 marines, injuring a police officer.
The perpetrator who was killed by a police SWAT team has been identified as 24 year old Kuwait-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a 2012 University of Tennessee engineering graduate.
Watch this ABC News special report on the attack in Chattanooga:
The TCFTP wrote on “What we know about the Chattanooga shooter”:
The gunman in the Chattanooga military installation shooting has been identified as 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
He was believed to have been born in Kuwait, and it was unclear whether he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing, sensitive investigation. It was not immediately clear whether the gunman’s first name was spelled Muhammad or Mohammad.
A man named Youssuf Abdulazeez attended UTC, spokesman Chuck Cantrell said, and graduated in 2012 with a degree in engineering.
Abdulazeez is from Hixson, Tennessee, which is just a few miles across the river from Chattanooga. He was booked for a DUI in April 2015.
Police in Hixson kicked a reporter out of the neighborhood that contained a house apparently owned by Abdulazeez. The reporter saw a SWAT team and FBI agents staging at a nearby strip mall. The house, which Hamilton County records is owned by Youssuf S. Abdulazeez, is appraised at $206,100 by the Hamilton County Assessor of Property.
Abdulazeez allegedly killed four Marines and shot one police officer in the attack at Amnicola Highway. A soldier and a police officer were wounded in the attack, according to the Associated Press. Dennis Pedigo, a Chattanooga police officer, is in stable condition.
Abdulazeez’s father, Youssuf Abdullazeez, was appointed as a “special policeman” for Chattanooga’s Department of Public Works in March 2005.
A woman who attended Red Bank High School with Abdulazeez said he was a quiet kid, but well-liked.
“He was friendly, funny, kind,” said Kagan Wagner. “I never would have thought it would be him.”
She added that their whole family seemed normal.
“They were your average Chattanooga family,” she said.
The attacks this morning at an Army Recruiting Center and at Naval and Marine Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee took the lives of 4 Marines and ultimately the shooter were all too eerily familiar. They were like the June 1, 2009 attack on a Little Rock Army Recruitment Center by another lone gunman, Carlos Bledsoe aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad. Was this another case of ‘workplace violence’ like the Little Rock attack or the Fort Hood November 2009 Massacres by Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan? Bledsoe/Muhammad you may recall killed Pvt. William “Andy” Long and severely injured Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula at the Little Rock mall Army recruiting center. That was an AQAP ‘inspired’ event. Was the Chattanooga attacker ‘inspired’ by ISIS?
From news reports he was not under surveillance by the FBI. He was apparently an unknown lone wolf? Knowing the problems with the JTTF in Tennessee and liaison with local MB groups, can we expect more incidents like this to occur in the Volunteer State? Not lost on us is the role played by US Attorney William Killian announcing that the FBI was taking today’s Chattanooga episode as a domestic terrorism incident. Killian was a prominent speaker in a controversial Muslim Brotherhood affiliate sponsored event in Coffee, Tennessee that spawned massive protests on June 4, 2013. See our report of the incident.
This incident comes in the wake of four arrests of suspected terrorists. One arrest in Adams, Massachusetts was of a Muslim convert ISIS aspirant caught in an FBI sting operation, the son of a respective Boston PD commander. These arrests followed warnings by FBI Director James Comey about an outbreak of ISIS inspired terror events slated originally for the July Fourth holiday. In the aftermath of this lone Jihadist terrorist attack in Chattanooga what will FBI Director Comey and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter do to provide protection for U.S. Armed Forces recruitment and reserve centers across the country?
Counterterrorism expert US Army Lt. Col. (ret.) Joseph Myers, whom we interviewed on 1330 AM WEBY on these national security issues, said we can expect more such attacks as occurred in Chattanooga.
The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center reported this afternoon “no apparent nexus to terrorism has been uncovered in the investigation of the fatal shootings in Tennessee, but intelligence officials are monitoring the investigation closely.” However, the AP noted:
Even though the report says there was no connection uncovered so far to terrorism, it described efforts by the Islamic State group to revitalize homegrown extremists to conduct physical attacks inside the United States.
Late this afternoon, President Obama issued this statement on the Chattanooga attack:
I just received a briefing from FBI Director Comey, as well as my White House team, about the tragic shooting that took place in Chattanooga today. We don’t know yet all the details. We know that what appears to be a lone gunman carried out these attacks. We’ve identified a name. And at this point, a full investigation is taking place. The FBI will be in the lead, working closely with local law enforcement.
We’ve also been in contact with the Department of Defense to make sure that all our Defense facilities are properly attentive and vigilant as we sort through exactly what happened. And as details of the investigation proceed, we’ll make sure that the FBI, as well as local law enforcement are providing the public with all the information that’s involved.
My main message right now is, obviously, the deepest sympathies of the American people to the four Marines that have been killed. It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion.
We take all shootings very seriously. Obviously, when you have an attack on a U.S. military facility, then we have to make sure that we have all the information necessary to make an assessment in terms of how this attack took place, and what further precautions we can take in the future. And as we have more information, we’ll let the public know.
But in the meantime, I’d ask all Americans to pray for the families who are grief-stricken at this point. And I want everybody to understand that we will be thorough and prompt in figuring out exactly what happened.
If President Obama had his way the Chattanooga event would be attributable to those damnably seductive social media spread by undisclosed extremely violent groups. Once again,with this statement there is not a hint that he recognizes Islamic jihad terrorism as the leading national and homeland security cause behind this and other ISIS-inspired attacks in the U.S.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of of Mohammed Youssef Abdulazeez (back row, center) with his family. We honor the names of the fallen:
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, from Springfield, Mass.
Lance Cpl. Skip “Squire” Wells, of Marietta, Ga.
Sgt. Carson Holmquist, of Grantsburg Wisc.
Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, of Chattanooga.