17-year-old Matin Azizi-Yarand was arrested Tuesday after a federal investigation determined he was likely preparing an ISIS-inspired shooting spree at Stonebriar Centre Mall in Frisco, TX, Fox News reports. The alleged plot was planned for later this month, and investigators say he may have intended to set fire to stores in the popular shopping center as well.
According to the arrest affidavit, Azizi-Yarand had spent at least $1400 through various sources to acquire weaponry and tactical gear. The FBI, in conjunction with Frisco and Plano, TX police, were able to preempt the attack after the teen shared his plans with a federal source who tipped off authorities. Apparently, the ISIS-pledged Plano resident had been attempting to recruit others into his murderous plot, but was unsuccessful. However, he had prepared a manifesto swearing allegiance to the terrorist group and giving his preposterous attempt at a justification for the would-be bloodbath. Some portions of his alleged rhetoric have been released by certain outlets, but I won’t publish his words here because they’re stupid and evil. Besides, they’re irrelevant anyway because he got stopped. He failed. He’s an utter failure.
With no body count and an immediate recognition of the boy’s Muslim radicalization, the story is likely to disappear from national headlines before the next news cycle. And like other such domestic terror cases, it will probably be dismissed as a “lone wolf” who was only “inspired”, but not “linked” to ISIS. But we’ve seen repeatedly that these dismissals are often premature, as underreported evidence can later reveal the assailant had indeed been in contact with, and in some cases receiving support from the network itself. There is no basis for suggesting this is one of those cases, but we’d be wise not to discount the seriousness of the possibility.
I thank God law enforcement was able to thwart the massacre this time. Speaking candidly, this particular mall happens to be close to our home; it’s where I took my own family just last week to watch a certain “War” on a big screen. It’s chilling to consider the possibilities of actual warfare among us in that same locale, and how narrowly it may have been avoided here.