The night before a gunman shot five U.S. service personnel dead in Tennessee, he sent a text message linked to a religious verse about ‘declaring war’.
Reports claimed that the message sent by Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez linked a passage of Islamic text, Hadith 38, containing the verse, “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I will indeed declare war against him,” reported the BBC.
The friend, who received the text, said that he thought nothing of the text at the time but wondered later if it was a hint to the attack that followed next day.
Other friends said that he spoke of his anger about conflicts in the Middle East, including Israeli bombing in Gaza and the civil war in Syria, but his level of understanding and awareness really rose after he came back from a trip to Jordan last year.
They said that he had purchased three guns online after the visit and used them for target practice.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Ed Reinhold remarked that it would be ‘premature’ to speculate the motive of the attacker, adding that a ‘thorough investigation’ was being conducted to determine if he acted alone or was inspired or directed.
The gunman initially fired from his Ford Mustang at about 10:45 am at a US Navy recruitment centre in the east of the city and then drove to a U.S. Navy reserve centre, about seven miles away, where he got out of his car and shot four marines, severely injuring a female sailor, who died later in hospital.
He was shot dead on Amnicola Highway.
U.S. President Barack Obama termed the attack ‘heartbreaking.