According to SITE, a company that monitors jihadi groups, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on a center that was exhibiting cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in the latest edition of its al-Bayan news bulletin. The group identified the two suspects as “two soldiers from the soldiers of the Caliphate”- though it offered no evidence of a direct link to the attackers.
ABC An audio statement on the extremist group’s Al Bayan radio station said that “two soldiers of the caliphate” carried out Sunday’s attack and promised the group would deliver more attacks in the future.
The Islamic State did not provide details and it was unclear whether the group was opportunistically claiming the attack as its own. It was the first time the ISIS, which frequently calls for attacks against the West, had claimed responsibility for one in the United States.
It was also unclear from the statement whether the group, which has captured large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, had an actual hand in the operation, or whether the two suspects had pledged allegiance to the group and then carried out the attack on their own.
Following the IS claim of responsibility, ISIS members and followers celebrated online with postings on IS-affiliated militant websites. “How are you (Americans) going to live when we create our lone wolves to be nuclear bombs … by God, you can’t match us and in the heart of your homes you will see,” said one Twitter posting.
“We say to the defenders of the cross, the U.S., that future attacks are going to be harsher and worse. The Islamic State soldiers will inflict harm on you with the grace of God. The future is just around the corner.” “Let anyone who wants to draw the picture of our Prophet to think one thousand times before doing so, because our hands can reach his neck,” said another.