No additional suspects in attack at Prophet Mohammad event: police

Reuters News
|
Posted: May 11, 2015 12:03 PM

By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - There were no suspects in last week's failed attack at a civic center outside Dallas other than the two men who were fatally shot while trying to storm an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, police said on Monday.

Roommates Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix were killed by a Garland police officer and four Garland Police SWAT team members when they opened fire with assault rifles outside the cartoon event held in the Dallas suburb. An unarmed security guard suffered a minor wound.

"At this time, we have no evidence that there were any other suspects involved in this attack," said Garland Police Chief Mitch Bates.

About 150 people were attending the event at the time.

Garland Police also received notice a few hours before the shooting from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Simpson had an interest in the event, but there was no information in that bulletin indicating he was planning an attack.

"We had no information from the FBI or from anyone else that Elton Simpson posed a threat to our event," Bates told reporters.

FBI Director James Comey has also said a bulletin was issued but it gave no indication of a planned attack.

U.S. investigators believe the two men represent an evolving model of “lone wolf” militants who are radicalized partly through long-distance engagement with organized militants but also initiate actions independently.

Although the Islamic State movement claimed credit for the Texas shooting, several U.S. officials said investigators have no evidence that either man had traveled to Syria or Iraq. U.S. court documents do show that Simpson tried to travel to Somalia.

(Additional reporting by Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas and Mark Hosenball in Washington)