Is the Islamic State the motivator for Esteban Santiago, the alleged gunman of today’s attack at the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport in Florida?
CNN reports that 5 are dead with multiple others injured. According to George L. Piro, head of the FBI Miami Division, terrorism has not been ruled out.
Santiago, 26, is a former U.S. Army Reservist, born in New Jersey, who, according to CNN, might have complained to the FBI in the past that he heard voices telling him to fight for ISIS.
Above is an image that some experts have claimed shows Santiago giving the “ISIS’ index finger signal” known as the “tahwid.” According to Foreign Affairs:
When ISIS militants hold up a single index finger on their right hands, they are alluding to the tawhid, the belief in the oneness of God and a key component of the Muslim religion… But for ISIS, the symbol is more sinister than a mere declaration of monotheistic beliefs. As Salafi jihadists, members of the group adhere to a fundamentalist interpretation of tawhid that rejects non-fundamentalist regimes as idolatrous. In other words, the concept of tawhid is central to ISIS’ violent and uncompromising posture toward its opponents, both in the Middle East and in the West.
Comparisons are being made of today’s attack to the summer 2016 attack on Ataturk Airport in Turkey. On June 28, three suicide bombers killed 45 people and injured more than 230. However, ISIS never officially claimed the attack, reports CNN.
It can also be noted that after today’s shooting, ISIS terrorist channels knew Santiago’s name before some news corporations reported it. A U.S. senator gave Santiago’s name out live on MSNBC. It is unclear if ISIS channels spread his name before MSNBC. Santiago is now in custody.
If claimed, the attack would be the second ISIS attack this year, with the first being the Reina Nightclub attack in Istanbul, Turkey. In that attack, a gunman, who was incorrectly stated to have been dressed as Santa Claus, armed with a long-barreled weapon, shot and killed a policeman and a civilian around 1:45 a.m. on January 1 before entering the club and opening fire, reports the New York Post. 39 people were killed.
Before that was the Christmas market attack that killed 12 and injured 48 at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany.
However, the last ISIS-affiliated attack in the United States occurred in November, when Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove a car into a group of people after pulling a fire alarm on a building.
Heavy is an independent news organization. We report acts of terror and violence so that the public may be fully informed. This may include content considered graphic, which is identified. We do not support, in any way, the individuals or organizations involved.
Read more about this shooting and ISIS in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: