Texas teen, Matin Azizi-Yarand, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly planning a mass shooting at a shopping mall in Frisco, Texas. (Image source: Video screenshot)
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Authorities arrested a Texas teenager on Tuesday who was planning to carry out a mass shooting at a busy shopping mall in Frisco, Texas, WFAA-TV reported.
Matin Azizi-Yarand, a Plano West Senior High School student, allegedly planned the ISIS-inspired attack at Stonebriar Centre for mid-May.
The 17-year-old wanted to act as a "lone wolf," according to the affidavit, but officials said he also tried to solicit others to help him carry out the shooting spree.
Azizi-Yarand sent more than $1,400 to others to buy weapons and other tactical gear, authorities said.
How was he caught?
In December 2017, the teen started talking to an FBI source through a mobile app.
“This case exemplifies the wide reach terrorist groups have through social media and other means to radicalize others in communities across our country," Plano Police Chief Gregory Rushin said.
Later, he started communicating with an undercover FBI agent.
What did he tell the source?
He told the source about his desire to carry out an attack.
“It is not about how many kills, but how much money you will make these countries spend in security just for a simple attack … although having a high number will get their attention," Azizi-Yarand allegedly said early in their conversations.
“I want to put America in the state that Europe is in, which is having to have soldiers deployed in streets,” Azizi-Yarand said, according to the affidavit. “Something that will cost them a lot financially too.”
Azizi-Yarand allegedly tried to get the source to purchase firearms and gear for him by sending prepaid cards to a post office box, KTVT-TV reported.
When the source questioned the teen's training, he responded that an Islamic State member told him, "Guns are simple, just open fire."
“How hard can it be to spray down a big crowd of people? Las Vegas the dude was just blind firing. And got 100," he added.
What did he tell the undercover FBI agent?
In January, the teen started talking to the undercover FBI agent.
He allegedly told the agent he and two others were "serious" about carrying out an attack, but that he wanted to wait until he turned 18 so he could purchase his own weapons. Azizi-Yarand's birthday is in November.
"I've only been reading ISIS magazine guides for performing operations and making bombs," Azizi-Yarand told the undercover federal agent.
In March, Azizi-Yarand allegedly decided on the mall as his target. He had also considered a Hindu temple and a school.
The source met with Azizi-Yarand at a hotel last month, and they visited the mall where they discussed the plan, which included shooting police officers first.
“I’d actually like to make a cop surrender and drop his gun,” Azizi-Yarand allegedly said to the FBI source. “Then, douse him with gasoline and burn him. Record it.”
Authorities said Azizi-Yarand had written his manifesto, "Message to America," which he planned to release.
Azizi-Yarand is being held on $3 million bond and faces up to 10 years in jail for making a terroristic threat, if convicted.
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