IS claims responsibility for its first attack on US soil

IS claims responsibility for its first attack on US soil

IS claims responsibility for its first attack on US soil

The Islamic State today claimed responsibility for an attack outside an event centre hosting a controversial cartoon contest concerning Prophet Mohammed, its first assault on US soil, and threatened to carry out "more bitter" violence in the country.

"Two soldiers...of the caliphate attacked an exhibit in Garland in American Texas," the militant group said on its Syria-based al-Bayan radio station, according to the SITE Intelligence Group which monitors radical factions around the world.

The attack that left two gunmen dead represents the first time the Islamic State has announced links to a high-profile attack in the US.

The statement warned that the US will be targeted by other Islamic State fighters waging attacks that will be "worse and more bitter, and you will see from the soldiers of the Islam State what will hurt you," the SITE report said.

The claim, however, offered no hints about how the Islamic State purportedly made contact or directed the two attackers from Phoenix in Sunday's failed assault.

The two gunmen were named yesterday as Elton Simpson and 34-year-old Nadir Soofi, who was a roommate of the former, The Washington Post reported, citing a law enforcement official.

Simpson, 31, had linked himself to ISIS in a tweet posted just before the attack, a federal law enforcement source told the newspaper.

Federal Agents were searching an apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, where Simpson reportedly lived, an FBI official said.

In 2011, he was convicted of making a false statement involving international and domestic terrorism.    He had previously been investigated on suspicion of terrorism offences.

Simpson had been under surveillance since 2006 and convicted in 2010 of lying to FBI agents over his desire to join violent jihad in Somalia, according to court documents.

FBI agents and police searched the two men's home at the Autumn Ridge Apartments in north-central Phoenix, cordoning off the complex and evacuating residents for several hours.

The controversial event was about to end when the two gunmen pulled up in a car and shot an unarmed Garland ISD security officer.

Seconds later, Garland police returned fire and killed the two gunmen before anyone else was hurt.  

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