PLANO, Texas — A Texas teenager who is sympathetic to the barbaric Islamic group ISIS has been arrested over an alleged plot to carry out a mass shooting at a local shopping mall.
Matin Azizi-Yarand, 17, is facing a terrorism charge for planning to attack Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, as well as criminal solicitation of capital murder for advising an undercover investigator that he was also considering killing a police officer.
An affidavit filed by a detective with the Frisco Police Department outlines that the undercover agent first began communicating with Azizi-Yarand in December, and that the teen told the confidential source that he wanted to wait until he turned 18 to carry out the attack so he could purchase the weapons himself.
“But I swear I want to achieve Allah’s pleasure and kill the kuffar (unbelievers),” he said. “I’ve only been reading ISIS magazine guides for performing operations and making bombs.”
Azizi-Yarand also allegedly stated that he wanted to “put America in the state that Europe is in, which is having to have soldiers deployed in the streets.”
He told the investigator that he was considering attacking a Hindu temple, but later said that he thought a school would be an easy target, remarking, “even a blind man could take 10 easily.” Azizi-Yarand then settled on attacking the Stonebriar Centre, explaining that he wanted to carry out the massacre during Ramadan “to limit Muslim casualties.”
“I’d actually like to make a cop surrender and drop his gun, then douse him with gasoline and burn him,” he said when discussing the plot. “Record it.”
Azizi-Yarand also provided a copy of a speech that he had written, in which he outlined that he was carrying out the attack because he believes the United States is “fighting Islam.”
“[W]e will cast terror into your hearts as Allah has commanded us,” he wrote, according to the affidavit. “We will spill your blood as you have spilled ours. More believers will answer the call to that which gives them life, which is jihad.”
The teen was arrested on May 1 after scoping out the mall with the undercover investigator and discussing his plan to murder a police officer at the shopping center so he could not stop them from carrying out the attack.
Azizi-Yarand is being held on $3 million bail and faces possible life imprisonment. He will be prosecuted as an adult.
“The facts of this case, though alarming, serve as an example of the power of cooperation and the importance of each individual remaining vigilant in the spirit of see ‘something, say something,'” said Frisco Police Department Chief John Bruce.
“We are fortunate that the brave men and women of local and federal law enforcement work around the clock to prevent acts of terrorism and mass shootings,” also remarked District Attorney Greg Willis in a statement. “I’d like to thank the FBI’s North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Frisco and Plano police departments for their efforts in this case and their vigilance in protecting the citizens of Collin County.”