Less than two weeks before he was arrested for planning an alleged Islamic State-inspired mass shooting at a Frisco shopping mall, a 17-year-old Plano West High School student referred to his classmates as “sitting ducks,” according to new documents released on Thursday.
On April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting and the same day that students from schools all across the country walked out of class to protest gun violence, Matin Azizi-Yarand “took various photographs of other students at the school and sent them to [an undercover FBI employee], describing them as ‘sitting ducks’ when discussing the possibility of an attack at the school,” according to a search warrant affidavit.
The documents detail that Azizi-Yarand, who was arrested on Tuesday and charged with making a terroristic threat and criminal solicitation of capital murder of a Texas peace officer, communicated several times over a period of five months with three people who he believed were his accomplices, but were instead two confidential informants and an undercover FBI employee.
During that time, investigators allege that the teenage suspect provided his accomplices with more than $1,400 so they could buy weapons and supplies.
According to the affidavit, Azizi-Yarand first sought information related to the Islamic State online in late 2017, and soon after made contact with a confidential informant using an unnamed messaging app.
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The suspect ultimately settled on an attack at the Stonebriar Centre, a Frisco shopping mall, and had gone so far as to surveil the security at the mall, including uniformed police officers who patrol the building.
Azizi-Yarand stated that he did not believe a police officer would “try and take us on,” and noted that during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a member of law enforcement “ran outside…a lot of people are mad at him.”