One Year Later, FBI Says Investigation into Jihadist Attack on Marines/Sailor is Still Open
Officials say the home-grown terrorist who shot and mortally wounded five U.S. service members a year ago, was radicalized by way of the internet.
The F-B-I agent in charge last July says the local investigation is still open.
EDWARD REINHOLD, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE “The shooter was radicalized on line …we have evidence that would support that.”
Twenty four year-old Mohammad Abdulazeez was raised in Chattanooga. He was a former UTC student and wrestler whose surprise July 16th 2015 rampage ended up killing 4 marines and a navy petty officer.
EDWARD REINHOLD “How was he radicalized? We learned pretty early on based on his viewing of al-Awaki videos …and who else may have seen those videos…was he trying to recruit anybody? ”
Edward Reinhold is the FBI special agent from the Knoxville office who had headed the investigation from the beginning.
EDWARD REINHOLD “Why he picked the target ..what we’re fairly certain that based on his desire to commit jihad that he wanted to hit the U.S. military, he did not want to go overseas to do it, he wanted to make a bigger impact …thought he’d make a bigger impact if he did it here ..that’s what he did.”
After shooting up a recruiting center on Lee Highway, Abdulazeez ended up at the Naval and Marine training facility on Amnicola where the 5 men were shot. Abdulazeez was gunned down by police and sheriff’s deputies who quickly responded to that site.
EDWARD REINHOLD “I don’t think he expected to survive the attack, but I don’t think he intended to kill himself.”
Abdulazeez made a trip to the middle east in 2014, according to the FBI agent, who believes there may be people in Chattanooga who heard him talk about his plans.
Reinhold says its still an active investigation, but—
EDWARD REINHOLD “We do not believe that there’s any imminent threat to the folks here in Chattanooga. We were pretty confident of that shortly after the attack ..that there was not going to be a follow on.”
Several observances are scheduled on July 16th here in Chattanooga, to remember the Fallen Five, and the two were wounded during the jihadist attack one year ago.