Last Thursday, a gunman fired dozens of rounds into two military centers in Chattanooga, TN, killing four marines and wounding three others, one who later died from his injuries. The shooter, 24 year-old Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, also died in the attack.
Those who knew him say that he was a personable, educated young man and a devout Muslim. No one seems to know when he was radicalized, but friends do say he “seemed different” when he returned from a recent trip to the Middle East.1 The FBI is still looking into his background and travels to determine if there is a connection to his travels that inspired his actions.2
Many cases of terrorism have one common thread—visits to the Middle East, then returning to the United States and planning or committing acts of terror.3 Military personnel have been warned by intelligence agencies that they may be specific targets of terrorism.4
This is the most recent in a number of murders on American soil by various extremists. Other plots, such as those we prayed to be exposed over the 4th of July weekend, were uncovered before harm could be done. Thank you, God!
I wrote in the 2015 ACPE Word of the Lord that the prophets have said, “This is the year when God will give His people the chance to recalibrate in the midst of what will seem to be a whirlwind year. To recalibrate means ‘to correct in mid-course, modify, amend, change, metamorphose, renovate, transform, or turn.’”
Let’s change the course of terrorism in our nation and unravel some things together in prayer for the following:
- Pray that the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy would know that God loves them and cares about them.
- Pray for the police and FBI agents investigating this crime to uncover every bit of evidence and to be able to fully understand what happened, so that similar activities can be stopped. Decree Ephesians 5:13, “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” (New American Standard Bible) (I like to say, “Darkness, get into the light!”)
- Ask God to expose everyone in the United States who has travelled to the Middle East to be radicalized for jihad. Pray that God would give the FBI the wisdom to be able to find them. “'Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?’ says the Lord; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24; New King James Version)
- Pray that those lost in Islam would know Jesus as their Lord and Savior before the enemy’s lies destroy any more of them by turning them into weapons of terror. (John 3:16-17)
- Ellis, Ralph, Ben Brumfield and Scott Zamos. “Chattanooga shooter changed after Mideast visit, friend says.” CNN.com. 20 July 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/us/tennessee-shooter-mohammad-youssuf-abdulazeez/
- Shallwani, Pervaiz, et al. “Chattanooga Shooting Suspect’s Trips to Jordan Scrutinized by Authorities.” WSJ.com. 18 July 2015. http://www.wsj.com/articles/chattanooga-shooting-suspects-trip-to-jordan-scrutinized-by-authorities-1437140737
- Serrano, Richard. “Americans radicalized by Al Qaeda are a big concern.” LA Times.com. 18 January 2014. http://articles.latimes.com/2014/jan/18/nation/la-na-alqaeda-threat-20140119
- Fantz, Ashley. “As ISIS threats persist, military families rethink online lives.” CNN.com. 23 March 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/23/us/online-threat-isis-us-troops/