- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Islamic State group purportedly claims to have “trained soldiers” in 15 states.

“Out of the 71 trained soldiers, 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, we are increasing in number. […] Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California and Michigan,” an American terrorist known as Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki said on a file-sharing website, Fox News reported Wednesday. The authenticity of the claims could not be verified.

The announcement of terror cells within the U.S. came in conjunction with calls of praise for the men who died while trying to attack a “Draw the Prophet” contest in Garland, Texas, on Sunday.

Elton Simpson, 31, and Nadir Soofi, 34, died in a shootout with security before reaching attendees at the American Freedom Defense Initiative event. The winning drawing of the Islamic prophet won $10,000.

“The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah [province] in the heart of our enemy,” a statement by the Islamic State group said, Fox reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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