Report: Chattanooga shooter researched al Qaeda cleric

This April 2015 booking photo released by the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office shows a man identified as Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeer after being detained for a driving offense. A U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity identified the gunman in shootings at two Chattanooga military facilities as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who shares the same age and address as the man in the photo. (Hamilton County Sheriffs Office via AP)


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (MEDIA GENERAL) – According to a report from ABC News, FBI agents have found evidence that Mohammod Abdulazeez had researched Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American member of al Qaeda.

Per ABC News, FBI authorities found evidence while searching his electronic devices and may have been looking for “guidance” on committing violence. A representative of Abdulazeez’s family, several pages of his journal included writings of wanting to be a martyr and ways to absolve his sins.

Recordings of al-Awlaki have been popular in jihadist circles long after the al Qaeda cleric was killed in a drone strike in September 2011.

Authorities have not confirmed the Chattanooga shooting was inspired or directed by ISIS. A senior official spoke with ABC News on condition of anonymity.

“I don’t think that there is any evidence it was ISIL-inspired,” the source said. “He may have been seeking some religious guidance to conduct an act. He could readily find that anywhere online.”

Friends of Abdulazeez have gone on record saying he did not like ISIS and did not consider their beliefs to be true to Islam.

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