A suburban Dallas Muslim teenager, 17-year-old Matin Azizi-Yarand, accused of planning an Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired mass shooting at the Stonebriar Centre Mall in neighboring Frisco, Texas has been charged with terrorism.
WFAA The Collin County district attorney’s office says 17-year-old Matin Azizi-Yarand of Plano had planned to release a “Message to America” explaining the attack. Azizi-Yarand is charged with criminal solicitation of capital murder and making a terroristic threat. He’s being held at the Collin County jail on a $3 million bond.
According to authorities, Plano West High School student Matin Azizi-Yarand, 17, planned the attack for mid-May after being inspired by ISIS. Police arrested Azizi-Yarand at Plano West High School on Tuesday. At the time of his arrest, Azizi-Yarand sent more than $1,400 to others for the purchase of weapons and tactical gear.
He had been talking online with an undercover FBI confidential human source about his desire to either “make Hijrah [a Muslim term meaning to travel to a more desirable place],” or to conduct a terroristic attack within the United States. In another message the teen allegedly wrote, “I’m going to get martyred.”
Through several conversations online, it was uncovered that Azizi-Yarand wanted to act as a lone wolf. He wanted to wait until he was 18 to carry out this attack, so he could purchase a rifle himself, according to affidavits.
“I’ve only been reading ISIS magazine guides for performing operations and making bombs,” Azizi-Yarand told the undercover federal agent. There was also talk of taking hostages. “We can be even more careful if you’d like and take hostages and assess which ones we can kill letting go the elderly and the children,” he messaged one of the sources.
Affidavits show throughout several other online conversations, Azizi-Yarand sent the agent various types of ISIS propaganda. “I’d like to actually make a cop surrender and drop his gun, then douse him with gasoline and burn him … record it,” Azizi-Yarand said during talks about the mall shooting.
The teen allegedly spent weeks staking out the mall. Investigators say he was detailing security’s placement, and outlining a strategy for a surprise attack on cops. They say the teen suggested a shooting rampage and burning down several stores. He also stated that his plan was to cause financial damage, “setting stores on fire // gasoline // match // we won’t suffocate to death lol we can shoot open weapons,” according to the affidavit.
Under Texas state law, if convicted Azizi-Yarand could face up to life in prison for criminal solicitation and up to 10 years for making a terroristic threat.