PLANO (CBS11 I-Team) – Two weeks ago, according to an arrest affidavit, Matin Azizi sent a Youtube video to an undercover FBI employee as an example of the guns he wanted.
About the same time, the 17-year-old Plano high school student was scouting the Stonebriar Centre Mall in Frisco in person.
It would be the popular shopping mall where Azizi planned to carry out an ISIS-inspired mass shooting.
According to the arrest affidavit, he told an undercover FBI employee he chose Stonebriar Centre Mall because “it’s the biggest attraction in my city.”
Azizi text messaged the undercover investigator how it would be easy to “spray down a big crowd of people.”
“Las Vegas the dude was just blind firing … And got 100.”
Azizi had been unknowingly communicating online with an FBI confidential informant since early December.
The teen messaged using a mobile app with the FBI informant his desire to travel to an ISIS fighting camp or conduct a terrorist attack in the U.S., accord to arrest records.
The conversations would continue as Azizi developed his deadly plot and tried recruiting others to join.
According to the arrest affidavit, Azizi sent videos to FBI informants about weapons, how to stab people, and how to make bombs.
On April 14, according to the affidavit, Azizi met an FBI informant at a Frisco hotel and the two walked to Stonebriar Centre Mall together.
Azizi told the undercover investigator, “there’s nothing goin’ to stop us … the entrance … it’s like an open place.”
The teenager also mailed more than $1,400 to buy weapons and tactical gear, according to the arrest affidavit.
Former U.S. Attorney Matt Orwig said by using social media and text messaging Azizi was able to develop a planned terrorist attack in the matter of weeks.
“With the development of communications and social media, planning is accelerated,” Orwig told the I-Team. “It doesn’t take as many resources and it doesn’t as much time.”
Orwig said it can be difficult to know whether someone will go through with his or her terrorist plots but added this one seemed real.
“There are a lot of people who talk about doing things that are destructive and not really likely to follow through on it,” Orwig explained. “This does look like something where there was some more planning – planning that made it real.”