Yesterday, around 7 pm, dozens of people were at a contest hosted by New York-based American freedom Defense Initiative at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas when police said two men pulled up in a vehicle and shot a Garland Independent School District Security guard in the ankle at about 7 p.m. The men were then shot and killed by Garland police.
The incident occurred as the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland hosted a controversial art event put on by New York-based American freedom Defense Initiative featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Police officers address attendees at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest after they are prevented from leaving when it was reported that shots were fired and a man is down in Garland, Texas May 3, 2015.
A police officer prevents attendees from leaving the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest after shots were fired outside the venue in Garland, Texas May 3, 2015.
However, as the recent massacre at the Paris Charlie Hebdo offices showed, 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 Muhammad is considered blasphemous.
According to NBCDFW, "Texas officials are actively investigating to determine the cause and scope of the senseless attack," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. "This is a crime that was quickly ended thanks to the swift action by Garland law enforcement."
The security guard, 58-year-old Bruce Joiner, was treated released from a hospital nearly two hours later, police said.
"Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected tonight," Abbott said.
As NBC further reports, fears of an "incendiary device" inside the suspects' vehicle prompted an investigation by a bomb squad unit and the evacuation of nearby businesses. Police are currently using robotic detection equipment to search the vehicle. No device has been found as of this writing.
Dr. Bilal Rana, President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association released the following statement:
"On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association — the largest Muslim youth group in the country — we stand by our fellow Americans in shock and horror at today's shooting. While we wait for investigators to tell us more about the shooters, we wholly condemn any such acts of violence and find them completely unjustifiable. Our faith calls us to engage in dialogue. So we condemn any use of violence to intimidate anyone."
Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, said that she planned the Sunday event to make a stand for free speech in response to the outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad.
And while the FBI did not have any immediate comments or speculation on the reason behind the attac, according to the Site intel group, overnight it was Islamic State supporters who took "credit" for the bungled shooting attack.
IS Fighter Forwards Alleged Claim of Shooting in Texas http://t.co/6douWL98pE— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) May 4, 2015
#ISIS British fighter Junaid Hussain, tweeted:"2 of our brothers just opened fire...They Thought They Was Safe In Texas" from ISIS fighters.— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) May 4, 2015
If indeed ISIS has found its way to the US, whether for pure provocation, false flag or any other "purposes" of inciting terrorist acts, this will likely be just the first of (many) other attacks which will see the successor of al Qaeda take responsibility for.