Texas Gunman Known to FBI Before Attack

Texas Gunman Known to FBI Before AttackTexas Gunman Known to FBI Before Attack

US federal agents for years monitored one of the two gunmen who were shot dead after opening fire with assault rifles at a heavily guarded Texas exhibit of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Two government sources who asked not to be named said the shooters were roommates Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, of Phoenix. Court documents show that Simpson had been under surveillance since 2006 and was convicted in 2011 of lying to FBI agents over his desire to join militants in Somalia, France24 reported.

FBI agents and police searched the two men’s home at the Autumn Ridge Apartments in north-central Phoenix, cordoning off the complex and evacuating residents for several hours in the early morning. The police He described the men who lived in the apartment as “just like your next-door-neighbor type of guys.”

The Texas incident unfolded on Sunday, when a car drove up behind an indoor arena in Garland, where 200 people were attending an event featuring cartoons of the Prophet.

Two men jumped from the car and fired at a police car that was blocking an arena parking lot entrance. A Garland police officer and an unarmed security guard were in the squad car and began to exit as the vehicle approached. The gunmen wounded the security guard, and the police officer returned fire, killing both assailants.

The exhibition had been organized by Pamela Geller who is known for her offensive remarks against Islam. Geller’s organization, American Freedom Defense Initiative, sponsors anti-Islamic advertising.