Group Warn of More Attacks to Come
Islamic State (IS) has said that it was responsible for the attack on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in the US state of Texas.
During a broadcast on the IS’s al-Bayan Radio news bulletin, it said that the exhibition “was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Muhammad.” It added that “two soldiers of the caliphate” carried out the attack at a conference centre near Dallas.
This is the first time the group have carried out an attack on US soil. “We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things,” the statement released by the group said.
Two gunmen were shot dead after opening fire on a security guard outside a contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed in Texas. They were later named as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi.
According to eye-witnesses, the men drove up to the Curtis Culwell Centre in the Dallas suburb of Garland as the contest was about to end and began shooting at a security officer.
Garland police officers returned fire, eventually killing the men.
Officer Joe Harn, spokesman for the Garland police department, said, “Because of the situation of what was going on today and the history of what we’ve been told has happened at other events like this, we are considering their car (is) possibly containing a bomb.”
People were evacuated whilst a bomb squad carried out a detailed search.
Mr Harn said it was not clear if the shooting was connected to the event, which was being hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defence Initiative (AFDI), and was awarding 10,000 dollars (£6,600) for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
Such drawings are deemed insulting to many followers of Islam and have sparked violence around the world.
According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Mohammed – even a respectful one – is considered blasphemous.
Police blocked off a large area around the centre and there was a heavy police presence whilst police helicopters circled overhead as bomb squads worked on the car.
The security officer who was shot in the leg. He was taken to hospital and later released.
A statement from the Curtis Culwell Center read, “Garland Police have secured the area around the Cuwlell Center and Naaman Forest High School. The district is working with Garland PD and will keep you informed as information becomes available.”