Posted on May 2, 2018

Plano Teen Arrested in ISIS-Inspired Plot to Commit Mass Shooting at Local Mall

Valerie Wigglesworth, Dallas News, May 2, 2018

A Plano West High School student was arrested on charges related to an ISIS-inspired plan to commit a mass shooting at a local mall with help from others, authorities said Wednesday.

Matin Azizi-Yarand, 17, faces charges of making a terroristic threat and criminal solicitation of capital murder. He is being held on $3 million bail. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

Authorities say he had planned the attack for mid-May. He had sent more than $1,400 to others to buy weapons and tactical gear. He had also written a “Message to America” explaining his reasons for the attack.

The teen discussed his plans during online communications with FBI confidential sources, mulling over attacks at a school and a Hindu temple before settling on Stonebriar Centre mall in Frisco, according to the probable cause affidavit. He told the sources that he had learned the layout of the mall and had been observing patrons and security there.

During one conversation, he stated: “I’d actually like to make a cop surrender and drop his gun // then douse him with gasoline and burn him // record it.”


The attack was planned to happen during Ramadan to limit the number of Muslim casualties, the teen told the source.


The teen stated his plan was to cause financial damage, “setting stores on fire // gasoline // match // we won’t suffocate to death lol we can shoot open weapons.”

There was also talk of taking hostages. “We can be even more careful if you’d like and take hostages and assess which ones we can kill letting go the elderly and the children,” he messaged the source.


Azizi-Yarand began communicating onine in December 2017 with an FBI confidential source about his desire to either “make hijrah [travel]” or to do a terrorist attack within the United States, according to a probable cause affidavit.


After the confidential source replied “OK,” Azizi-Yarand stated that he wanted to wait until he was 18 so that he could buy a rifle himself.

“But I swear I want to achieve Allahs [Gods] pleasure and kill the kuffar,” he stated, according to the affidavit. “I’ve only been reading ISIS magazine guides for performing operations and making bombs.”

He also told the source that he learned about Islam on the Internet.


The teen also sent the source several types of ISIS propaganda. There were links to videos about life in the Islamic state and about being a martyr as well as an image with the ISIS flag and a firearm adn the text “Jihad [Struggle/Fight] and the rifle alone. NO negotiations, NO conferences and NO dialogue,” according to the affidavit.


Conversations in March turned to gathering money to buy weapons and tactical gear. On April 24, he messaged that he had gotten contacts so that his glasses wouldn’t impede their operation.

There was also talk about getting in shape physically for the attack. {snip}