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Franklin Graham Responds to Chattanooga Shootings, Says Immigration of Muslims to U.S. Must Stop: 'They All Have Potential To Be Radicalized'

( [email protected] ) Jul 17, 2015 04:58 PM EDT
Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, has said the U.S. must stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until the threat of Islam has been settled after 24-year old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines in Chattanooga, TN.
Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines after opening fire on two separate military recruiting centers in Chattanooga, TN on Thursday, July 16. AP photo

Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, has said the U.S. must stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until the threat of Islam has been settled after 24-year old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines in Chattanooga, TN.

Graham, who is the son of prominent evangelist Billy Graham, took to Facebook to share his thoughts: "Four innocent Marines (United States Marine Corps) killed and three others wounded in ‪#‎Chattanooga‬ yesterday including a policeman and another Marine--all by a radical Muslim whose family was allowed to immigrate to this country from Kuwait."

The 63-year-old evangelist continued with a chilling warning: "We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad. We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled. Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized--and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad. During World War 2, we didn't allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now? Do you agree? Let your Congressman know that we've got to put a stop to this and close the flood gates. Pray for the men and women who serve this nation in uniform, that God would protect them."

Abdulazeez has been identified as a naturalized American born in Kuwait and was also a practicing Muslim who attended a local mosque. The New York Times noted that he was a naturalized U.S. citizen, but did not say when.

According to The Chattanooga Times Free Press, he graduated from Red Bank High School, whose quotation on his graduation yearbook page was: "My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?" A resume he posted online also showed that he was learning to manage electrical power systems as a profession, and received an engineering degree from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2012.

On Thursday morning, Abdulazeez attacked the Marines at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, killing four and wounding another three, before he was shot and killed by police.

When he killed the four Marines, Abdulazeez was carrying an AK-47-style rifle and a lot of ammunition, a law enforcement official said.

"He never got out of the car," witness Gina Mule told CNN. "He had a big, huge, high-powered rifle, and he was unloading shots right into the recruiters."

"There had to be 20 to 30 shots," she added.

The FBI has said Abdulazeez was not on any list of suspected terrorists and so far, they have not established a link with terrorism.

"While it would be premature to speculate on the motives of the shooter at this time, we will conduct a thorough investigation of this tragedy and provide updates as they are available," an FBI official, who wasn't named, told Fox News after the attack.

FBI special agent Ed Reinhold said in a separate statement that "We are looking at every possible avenue, whether it was terrorism - whether it was domestic, international - or whether it was a simple, criminal act."

However, the Daily Beast revealed that Abdulazeez authored a short-lived blog and wrote about Islam a number of times in recent weeks leading up to the attack. The outlet notes that the blog suggests Abdulazeez felt his fellow Muslims had a "certain understanding of Islam and keep a tunnel vision of what we think Islam is."

In another post, he wrote that life is a test "designed to separate the inhabitants of Paradise from the inhabitants of Hellfire."

"We ask Allah to make us follow their path," Abdulazeez wrote in another post, referring to the earliest followers of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. "To give us a complete understanding of the message of Islam, and the strength to live by this knowledge, and to know what role we need to play to establish Islam in the world."