Here is what you need to know NOW about the shootings that took place at multiple locations in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area on Thursday, 16 July 2015:
1) Four good men are dead. Killed in the attack were four US Marines. At least one police officer and one other service member were wounded. The alleged perpetrator is also dead. The shootings occurred at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center Chattanooga, and the Armed Forces Career Center. There appears to have been only one perpetrator.
2) The alleged shooter’s name is Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez. Abdulazeez was a naturalized US citizen, originally from Kuwait. There is currently no indication as to why he might have carried out this attack.
3) ISIS sent out a threat specifically targeting Chattanooga. The day before the attack, an ISIS-affiliated Twitter account broadcasted an eerie warning that Chattanooga would soon “see wonders.” In the past, these kinds of threats never materialized into something tangible. Maybe this time was different.
4) This is not the first time recruiting stations or US military installations have been targeted.
Recruiting stations have often been the scene of attacks directed against the US military, as well as planned attacks that were thwarted before they could be pulled off. Yet due to the requirements of the job, recruiting stations largely remain in vulnerable, highly-accessible locations.
5) US service members are not allowed to carry weapons for self defense.
As a general rule, US service members are not allowed to carry weapons, unless their jobs or their commanders specifically require/authorize it.
6) The US government will write this off as “domestic terrorism.” Despite what are already very conspicuous ties to international terrorism, particularly ISIS, for political reasons the US will write this off as a “domestic terrorist” attack, just like they did the Fort Hood attack carried out by Nidal Hasan in 2009. Because after all, we’re winning the war on terrorism… right?