Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez Made Ominous Blog Posts Days before Attack
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, identified as the July 16, 2015 shooter of four Marines at a Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, maintained a blog containing two Islam-focused posts made just three days before the attack.
"The fact that he posted these entries to the blog only three days before the attack suggests that it may have served as an explanation for his actions and an inspiration to others," said SITE Director Rita Katz.
The July 13 posts stated that "life is short and bitter" and that Muslims should not let "the opportunity to submit to allah...pass you by." He also stressed the sacrifice of the Sahaba [companions of the Prophet] with mention that they "fought Jihad for the sake of Allah":
We often talk about the Sahaba (RA) and their Ibada. We talk about their worshiping at night, making thikr, reading quran, fasting, sala. But did you ever notice that in one certain period towards the end of the lives of the Sahaba (RA), almost every one of the Sahaba (RA) was a political leader or an army general? Every one of them fought Jihad for the sake of Allah. Every one of them had to make sacrifices in their lives and some even left all their wealth to make hijrah to Medina.
Abdulazeez in blog post: "...life is a test of faith."
Abdulazeez expressed his desire to reach paradise in the blog, stating that "life is a test of faith."
The attacker has since become a figure of praise for many jihadists—particularly IS fighters and supporters. Many of these accounts have stated that Abdulazeez "walked the way we kept talking of" and celebrated him as a martyr. Some Twitter users even honored him via their avatars and usernames:
Katz clarified, "Even though many IS fighters are celebrating Abdulazeez as a 'soldier of the Islamic State' among other things, there has still not been any official claim from any group."