As authorities investigate a deadly attack in Tennessee
as a potential case of terrorism, which occurred on the heels of several attacks across the globe in recent weeks, President Barack Obama issued a statement Thursday wishing Muslims a happy Ramadan.
The Muslim holy month ends Friday.
The Islamic State (ISIS) has made several calls
for its followers to launch terror attacks during Ramadan, and members of the U.S. military and law enforcement have also been singled out as potential targets.
A Tweet from an ISIS-linked Twitter account, meanwhile, seemed to give warning to Thursday's attacks, mentioning Chattanooga. The time stamp of the Tweet was 10:34 a.m. Thursday; the shooting began at about 10:50 a.m.
It's not clear what time Thursday the aforementioned White House statement was released, but Obama wished Muslims in the United States and across the world "joy" as Ramadan comes to a close.
"Michelle and I would like to extend our warmest wishes to Muslims in the United States and around the world celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr," the statement reads
. "As Muslims mark the end of the month, they are reminded that Ramadan is a time to reflect spiritually, build communally, and aid those in need. While Eid marks the end of Ramadan, it marks a new beginning for each individual — a reason to celebrate and express gratitude on this holiday."
Obama also uses the opportunity to ask Americans to respect people of all faiths.
"As Muslim Americans celebrate Eid across America, the holiday is a reminder to every American of the importance of respecting those of all faiths and beliefs," the statement reads. "This past year New York City Public Schools announced adding Eid to their official school calendars alongside Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays — an acknowledgement of the great diversity and inclusiveness that adds to the richness of our nation."
The statement closes by saying, "Michelle and I hope today brings joy to all of your homes, both here in the U.S. and around the world. From my family to yours, Eid Mubarak!"
On Thursday, 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez of Hixon, Tenn. is alleged to have shot at two military offices in Chattanooga — a recruiting center and a Navy reserve center. Four Marines were killed at the reserve center. Another person was wounded at the recruiting center.
Abdulazeez, who is believed to have been born in Kuwait, was shot and killed. Authorities have not said if he shot himself or if police shot him.
Bill Killian, the U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee, said the deadly incidents were being investigated as an "act of domestic terrorism."
According to Fox 19
, this quote was included in Abdulazeez's high school yearbook entry: "My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?"
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