Born in Kuwait, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez is reported to be the shooter who killed four persons in Chattanooga TN in a shooting spree at military recruiting center and a Navy Operational Support Center. Four Marines were shot to death in a hail of bullets fired by Abdulazeez. The presumed shooter is also dead. The FBI declined to say whether he was killed by law enforcement officers or committed suicide. Since the July 16 incident took place at military facilities, the FBI is conducting an investigation. Some officials are already calling the shooting an incident of “domestic terrorism.”  The incident is being treated as “an act of domestic terrorism,” said  U.S. Attorney William C. Killian. He asked that citizens not be caught up in any sort of label to be applied to the shooting. Abdulazeez was a naturalized American citizen.
 
FBI special agent Ed Reinhold told the media that the Naval reserve shooting will be treated as a "terrorism investigation until we determine it was not." The 24-year-old shooter also managed to wound another member of the military, a Chattanooga police officer, and a civilian. The shootings began at 10:45 a.m. local time. Reinhold said that the shooting was over within 30 minutes.  The shooter opened fire at one site, and then drove to another where he continued to fire multiple rounds. He was reportedly driving a Ford Mustang convertible car. Chattanooga police said that by 1:15 p.m. the active shooter situation had come to an end. They later confirmed that he was deceased. 
 
President Barack Obama praised the response by law enforcement and said, “It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion.”  Furthermore, Obama said he wanted the families of the victims to know “they have our full support as they try to overcome the grief that’s involved here.” Obama is in touch with the Defense Department, saying that the military is working to ensure the security of other military installations.  Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stated, “While we expect our sailors and Marines to go into harm’s way, and they do so without hesitation, an attack at home, in our community, is insidious and unfathomable.” Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy, said in a statement.
 
The Navy Operational Support Center provides support for reserve component personnel. At the armed forces recruitment center, the glass door at the entrance was peppered with bullet holes. The four deceased Marines have not yet been identified, pending notification of next of kin. Speaking at news conference, Chattanooga police chief Fred Fletcher said at a news conference, “Somebody brutally and brazenly attacked members of our armed services.” Fred Fletcher, the Chattanooga police chief, said at a news conference. ” FBI Special Agent Edward Reinhold said that an investigation is in its initial stages, adding, “We will treat this as a terrorism investigation until it can be determined that it was not.” Reinhold later said, “We have not determined if it was an act of terrorism or a criminal act.”
 
According to the FBI, Abdulazeez was apparently unaccompanied. He was not wearing body armor, but was in possession of numerous weapons. Agent Reinhold said that Abdulazeez did not work at either facility involved and that he had no intelligence to suggest that the attack was in the offing. According to an AP report, a senior FBI official said the shooting did not initially appear to be related to any international terrorist group.
 
In the minutes before the shooting commenced, a mysterious message appeared on a Twitter account that appeared to herald the attacks in Chattanooga.    Affiliated with ISIS, the tweet was sent before the shooting and said:  “O American dogs soon YOU will see the wonders.” The hashtag #Chattanooga, the tweet timestamp shows it was sent at 10:34 a.m. Eastern, which is about the same time the shooting took place and before it had been noted on social media or traditional media. The Twitter account has since been suspended.The tweet is similar to one sent out just before two ISIS gunmen opened fire outside the “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland TX in May of this year.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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