If the shooting at a Garland, Texas, art contest this weekend where contestants drew the Prophet Muhammad are found to be linked to the Islamic State, it marks "a new phase in the war" against terrorism, Republican Senate leaders said Tuesday.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said they had not seen evidence that links the two shooters to the Islamic State directly, but the shooting "is certainly [Islamic State]-inspired," McCain said, by actors either indoctrinated directly or through the Internet.
Graham said it is possible the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the attack Tuesday, may be "taking credit after the fact." But "if they were in fact in a command and control relationship with these guys, that's a new phase of the war that's on us."
"That's different than a lone wolf attack," Graham said. If so, "that's ominous."