North Texas student arrested for planning 'ISIS-inspired' mass shooting at mall

Posted at 11:52 AM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 08:46:16-04

A North Texas student has been arrested for planning an "ISIS-inspired" mass shooting at a shopping mall, Collin County officials said in a news release. 

Plano resident Matin Azizi-Yarand, 17, was arrested for criminal solicitation of capital murder and making a terroristic threat when officials say he planned a mass shooting at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco and solicited others to assist him in the attack, which was planned for mid-May. 

Collin County officials said Azizi-Yarand was inspired by ISIS.

In Dec. Azizi-Yarand began communicating online with an FBI Confidential Human Source about his desire to either "make hijah [travel]" or to conduct a terrorist attack within the United States, an arrest affidavit said. 

Azizi-Yarand told the CHS he planned to wait until he turned 18 to conduct the attack. 

In January, he began communicating with an undercover FBI agent, to whom he joked about getting a knock on his door and getting big smiles from men in suits. 

When discussing potential places for the attack, he mentioned school as the "perfect place for an attack," the affidavit said. Azizi-Yarand wrote a speech with his "message for America," in which he described his plan to attack the shopping mall. 

Azizi-Yarand sent more than $1,400 to other individuals to buy weapons and tactical gear, the news release said. 

“We are fortunate that the brave men and women of local and federal law enforcement work around the clock to prevent acts of terrorism and mass shootings,” said Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis. “I’d like to thank the FBI’s North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Frisco and Plano Police Departments for their efforts in this case and their vigilance in protecting the citizens of Collin County.”

This case will be prosecuted by the Collin County District Attorney's Office. If convicted, the 17-year-old could face life in prison.

Azizi-Yarand is in custody with bonds totaling at $3 million. 

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