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Plano man arrested for soliciting others to help commit ISIS-inspired mass shooting at local mall

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A 17-year-old Plano man has been arrested for criminal solicitation of capital murder and making a terroristic threat, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Frisco Police Department, and the Plano Police Department.

Matin Azizi-Yarand, a high school student, was arrested for making terroristic threats to carry out his plan of committing a mass shooting at a local mall and for soliciting other individuals to assist him in the mass shooting attack. Azizi-Yarand was inspired by ISIS to conduct this attack, which he had planned for mid-May. 

At the time of arrest, Azizi-Yarand sent more than $1,400 to others for the purchase of weapons and tactical gear. He had written and planned to disseminate his "Message to America," explaining the reasons for his attack.

Azizi-Yarand will be prosecuted by the Collin County District Attorney's Office with support from the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas. Under Texas state law, if convicted, Azizi-Yarand faces up to life in prison for criminal solicitation and up to ten years in prison for making a terroristic threat. He is in custody and bond amounts have been set totaling $3 million dollars.

"We are fortunate that the brave men and women of local and federal law enforcement work around the clock to prevent acts of terrorism and mass shootings," said Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis. "I'd like to thank the FBI's North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Frisco and Plano Police Departments for their efforts in this case and their vigilance in protecting the citizens of Collin County."

"The FBI's North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force was able to successfully work with local, state, and federal partners to apprehend an individual who intended to do harm within the city of Frisco, Texas. The FBI is not aware of any additional threats associated with this arrest. The American people can take comfort in knowing that we continue to work diligently to protect and defend the United States and to ensure the safety of the communities we serve," said Eric K. Jackson, FBI Dallas Special Agent-In-Charge.

"The facts of this case, though alarming, serve as an example of the power of cooperation and the importance of each individual remaining vigilant in the spirit of 'see something-say something.'  I would like to thank all the local and federal partners who worked on this case for the teamwork displayed in keeping our North Texas community safe," said John W. Bruce, Frisco Police Chief.

"Sadly, we have heard a lot about terrorism in the media, and it has become a concern in our lives.  This case exemplifies the wide reach terrorist groups have through social media and other means to radicalize others in communities across our country, but more importantly it demonstrates the high level of collaboration that exists between law enforcement agencies to prevent such plots from being carried out.  I wish to thank the FBI and all law enforcement agencies in the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force for their work on this case," said Gregory W. Rushin, Plano Police Chief.

The FBI's North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force is made up of numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. The mission of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is prevention, detection, and investigation of terrorist acts affecting the United States interests, and to apprehend individuals who commit or plan to commit such acts. 

Experiences learned from the subsequent investigation of the 9/11 attacks led to the need for a "one-team – one fight" approach. JTTFs serve as the platform connecting law enforcement (LE) communities to the Department of Defense, the United States Intelligence Community, and foreign LE entities. JTTFs leverage the collaborative efforts of LE agencies to accomplish the counter terrorism mission. The North Texas JTTF (NJTTF) is comprised of four counterterrorism squads located in Fort Worth, Frisco, and Dallas.

If anyone has any information on this case or defendant, please call the FBI's Public Access Line at 855-324-7257 or by email. Caller information will be kept confidential.

Copies of the arrest warrant affidavits for criminal solicitation and terroristic threat can be viewed at these links.

An arrest is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.