Islamic Terrorism Strikes Tennessee
On July 16, 2015, terror struck Chattanooga Tennessee when a gunman opened fire at several locations around the historic city. The attack targeted members of the United States military.
Gunfire started at 10:30 a.m. when Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot up an Armed Forces Career Center with a semi-automatic rifle. One Marine was shot and wounded as the occupants dove for cover. Abdulazeez jumped into his rented Ford Mustang and sped off.
Chattanooga Police quickly caught up with Abdulazeez and initiated a vehicle pursuit. The gunman led cops on a seven-mile-long wild chase that led them to a US Navy Reserve Center. Abdulazeez rammed his car through the gates and exited his Mustang. As cops converged, he ran into a building and again opened fire at the Navy personnel working there. Exiting the rear of the building he found several Marines working in a motor pool area. He again opened fire killing several of the unsuspecting soldiers.
Chattanooga Police, following the sound of the gunfire caught up with Abdulazeez and engaged him in a firefight. The cops quickly dispatched Abdulazeez, ending the 30-minute-long massacre.
Four Marines and a Sailor were killed in the attack. Another Marine and a police sergeant were also shot and injured. Several of the Marines and Sailors were cites for bravery in the attack, some using personal firearms to shoot back at the deranged murderer.
The perp, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was a Palestinian who moved to the United States as a child. He suffered from mental illness and substance abuse issues. Like many terrorists, he had recently become more religious, perhaps in an attempt to overcome his addictions. He had taken six trips to Kuwait and Jordan with his father, who was on the terrorist watchlist. Family members told investigators that Abdulazeez had searched online about martyrdom, and had been wondering whether becoming a martyr would absolve him of his sins. His personal writings also discussed Jihad and martyrdom. Hours before the shooting he texted an Islamic verse to a friend decrying the enemies of Islam. The FBI had no information on Abdulazeez at the time of the massacre.
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