Authorities are declining to link the shootings in Chattanooga, Tenn., that killed four Marines on Thursday to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) despite a suggestion from the House Homeland Security Committee chairman that the gunman was inspired by the terror group.
“At this time, we have no indication that he was inspired by or directed by anyone other than himself,” Ed Reinhold, the FBI agent in charge, said of the shooter, identified as 24-year-old Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, during a news conference Friday.
Reinhold added that law enforcement will continue explore any potential link to terror groups.
The statement comes hours after Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that the attack at two military facilities seemed to be inspired by ISIS.
“My judgment and my experience is that it was an ISIS-inspired attack,” McCaul said Friday at Florida’s MacDill Air Force Base. “The targets are identical to the targets called by ISIS to attack."
Law enforcement officials also confirmed at the Chattanooga press conference that Abdulazeez had two long guns on him and one pistol. Officials were not sure whether all of those guns were purchased legally, noting that “some may not have been."
They added that the gunman, who died on the scene, was not wearing any protective vest.
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher detailed heroism by his officers during the shooting and noted that officers rescued another who had been shot in the ankle during a firefight.
The shooting has prompted calls from gun rights supporters to consider allowing soldiers to be allowed to carry personal firearms on military facilities.
The Army has announced that it will assess the security protocols at its recruiting centers, but cautioned that it is too early to decide whether to allow recruiters to be armed.