Latest on Texas attack: NYPD: Assessing threat to blogger

AP News
|
Posted: May 06, 2015 7:27 PM
Latest on Texas attack: NYPD: Assessing threat to blogger

6 p.m. CDT

The New York Police Department says it is assessing a threat posted on a site that is related to the Islamic State group against blogger Pamela Geller.

Geller was the organizer of a purposely controversial cartoon contest about the Prophet Muhammad in Texas last weekend where two men started shooting before they were killed by police.

NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis says the threat named Geller specifically. He says investigators from counterterrorism and intelligence bureaus met with her Wednesday and will do a "comprehensive threat assessment" to decide whether it's credible enough to require security for Geller.

He didn't comment on the specific nature of the threat or what any security measures would look like.

___

4:30 p.m. CDT

The father of one of the gunmen killed by police after opening fire outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest describes his son as "gentle, caring, smart" and a "model son."

Azam Soofi said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News and the Kansas City Star that he was surprised by news that his son, Nadir Soofi, was involved in the attack in the Dallas suburb of Garland.

Nadir Soofi, who was 34, and another man died in a shootout with police Sunday outside the cartoon contest. Law enforcement officials have identified the second man as 31-year-old Elton Simpson.

Azam Soofi says his son was nonviolent, "a Muslim and said his prayers." He says Nadir was "always on the honor roll in school" and was his "pride and joy."

___

4 p.m. CDT

A medical examiner's office in Texas says one of the gunmen killed by police after opening fire outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The Dallas County medical examiner's office on Wednesday did not indicate how many times 34-year-old Nadir Soofi was shot or offer any other details.

The office has conducted an autopsy on a second gunman, identified by law enforcement officials as 31-year-old Elton Simpson, but no details have been released.

A spokesman for the office says full autopsy reports are pending.

Authorities say Soofi and Simpson were planning a deadly attack at the cartoon contest in suburban Dallas on Sunday. They were shot and killed by police moments after leaving their vehicle armed with assault weapons.

___

3 p.m. CDT

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn says the contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad was an expression of free speech.

Cornyn said Wednesday the weekend event in the Dallas suburb of Garland that resulted in the shooting deaths of two armed attackers was a "speech that perhaps you don't agree with or that may offend some people."

Cornyn has described the attackers as "ISIS-inspired," but acknowledged he had no evidence of a link to the radical Muslim group and had not been briefed by the FBI.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Tuesday for the shooting, but counterterrorism experts said IS has a history of asserting involvement in attacks in which it had no operational role. That suggests the two gunmen could have carried out a lone wolf-style strike.

___

1 p.m. CDT

The White House says intelligence officials had a lot to investigate related to the Islamic State group claim of responsibility for a shooting at a Texas cartoon contest that featured images of the Prophet Muhammad.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday analysts want to review whether the claim is accurate and at what level the Islamic State group may have known about the plan. He says they want to determine if the two men who opened fire at the Dallas-area contest and were fatally shot by authorities were in contact with the group.

A federal law enforcement official has said authorities had an open investigation into one of the men. The official said investigators will study the contacts the men had in the U.S. and abroad.