55ºF

Local terrorism expert weighs in on ISIS claim in Texas shooting

photo

SAN ANTONIO – While ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack outside a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland, a suburb just outside of Dallas, a San Antonio college professor said he believes it's still too early to determine whether the two gunmen shot and killed by a police officer were truly part of ISIS.

Formal connection or not, Robert Summers, a St. Mary's University law professor and former military intelligence officer, said ISIS has an enormous Internet presence that is dangerous to our national security.

"We are a society flooded with weapons, and so it's easy for people like this to acquire such weapons, and if properly inspired, (they) can conduct these horrendous attacks," he said. "So it is indeed possible, given a country this size with 250 million people, that they're going to find a sympathetic audience."

ISIS claimed responsibility of the attack two days after it occurred, but there was no proof the terror group had any connection to the two gunmen.

One indication was a tweet that one of the gunmen posted moments before the attack. It pledged their allegiance to the terror group.

Summers said that tweet will be the center of the police and FBI investigation to determine what kind of connections they can draw.

"The terrorists only have to be right once and that's the problem. Eventually, some of them are successful, and so to the extent (that) people can remain vigilant, the better off everyone will be," said Summers.

American officials have yet to verify if the attack was in fact part of ISIS. The group claims responsibility and, if in fact true, it will be the first attack on American soil.

ISIS has vowed it would not be their last attack in the U.S.