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  • The bodies of two gunmen are removed from behind a car during an investigation by the FBI and local police in Garland, Texas May 4, 2015

    The bodies of two gunmen are removed from behind a car during an investigation by the FBI and local police in Garland, Texas May 4, 2015 | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 May 2015

The FBI had been tracking one of the attacker since 2006 after he appeared in a video calling for fighting non-believers for “Allah”.

The Islamic State group claimed Tuesday the responsibility of the failed attack at a center in the state of Texas, the United States that was exhibiting cartoon depictions of Prophet Muhammad.

"Two of the soldiers of the caliphate executed an attack on an art exhibit in Garland, Texas, and this exhibit was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Mohammed," an audio statement on the extremist group's Al Bayan radio station said.

On May 3, two gunmen, identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, attempted to enter the building where the event was taking place but security guards shot them dead when they opened fire.

This marks the first time the group claims any attacks within the U.S. borders.

"We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things," the statement added.

However, critics and security experts say that the Islamic State groups did not provide any evidence for the gunmen receiving orders from the group. One unnamed U.S. official told Reuters that it was possible the extremist group played an “inspirational” role in the attack rather than an “operational” role.

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But, CNN reported that one of the men involved in the attack made several references to the Islamic State group through twitter shortly before the attack.

"May Allah accept us as Mujahideen.” Simpson said in a tweet, according to CNN, adding that they, the two assailant, had pledged allegiance to “Amirul Mu'mineen”, a term used to describe the head of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al Baghdadi by the group's members.

U.S. media reported that the FBI had been investigating Simpson since 2006 after a recording of him talking about fighting nonbelievers for Allah.

In October, Canada was hit by two terror attacks by so-called "lone wolves" believed to have been inspired by the Islamic State group.

The incident comes only months after gunmen opened fire in the offices of the Paris-based satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which repeatedly depicted the Islam's prophet Muhammad in their cartoons, something that Muslims consider offensive to their faith. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed the responsibility for that attack which claimed the lives of a dozen people.

The American Muslim community sought to distance itself from the recent attack in Texas. “The actions of these two men denigrate the Prophet Muhammad more than any cartoon ever could,” Salam Al-Marayati, Muslim Public Affairs Council President, said in a statement on May 4. “The bullets used by the assailants were bullets against our faith.”

RELATEDCharlie Hebdo Attack: This Is Not Simply About Cartoons

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