UPDATE: ATF and Department of Justice officials are denying the gun was sold as part of Operation Fast and Furious and say it was simply sold from Lone Wolf Trading Company during the same period of time. It should be noted evidence and proof of ATF and DOJ claims has not been provided.
An email I received from DOJ this week:
Hi Katie –
I wanted to pass this along as I know you cited the August 1 LA Times article in a recent piece. As your report inaccurately claimed that a firearm associated with the May 3, 2015, attack at the Curtis Caldwell Center in Garland, Texas was obtained as part of Operation Fast and Furious, I thought you should be aware:
No firearm recovered with respect to the Garland attack was associated with the investigation in Operation Fast and Furious, and Nadir Soofi was never a subject, target, person of interest, or defendant in Fast and Furious--or any other ATF investigation. As such, we’d ask that Town Hall retract or correct this erroneous report.
Happy to issue a correction but first a few questions.
1) What is the serial number of Soofi's 9 mm firearm that was purchased at Lone Wolf Trading Company in 2010?
2) When does the Department plan on responding to Senator Ron Johnson's letter? [Asking about the means by which Soofi obtained his firearm 3) Considering Soofi's purchase was put on hold for 7 days, why was it then approved just 24 hours later? Especially when he lied on his background check form?
1. The investigation of the Garland attack is ongoing, and a related federal prosecution is pending in Arizona. FBI is the primary investigative agency on these matters. ATF's role in the Garland investigation primarily involved tracing recovered firearms; the results of those traces were immediately provided to the FBI and Texas law enforcement authorities. ATF has not publicly released the results of or details pertaining to those traces because the law does not permit ATF to do so.
2. ATF can’t comment on Congressional correspondence.
3. Background checks are conducted by FBI, so I would refer you to them for any questions regarding the NICS process.
Let me know if I can help with anything else, and thank you for the correction.
On May 4, 2015 Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson drove from Phoenix to Garland, Texas to carry out a terror attack against conservatives hosting a Mohammed cartoon contest. When they arrived on scene, they were immediately shot and killed by police after opening fire outside the building.
It turns out Soofi purchased his gun during the same time as the Holder Justice Department's Operation Fast and Furious back in 2010. As a reminder, Operation Fast and Furious was a program that ran from 2009-2010 in which federal agents purposely allowed the sale of thousands of weapons, including handguns, AK-47s and .50-caliber rifles, to known drug cartels. Agents deliberately allowed weapons to be trafficked and lost in Mexico. Now, Barack Obama's bloodiest scandal has hit home once again. Richard Serrano at the LA Times has the incredible details:
Five years before he was shot to death in the failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, Nadir Soofi walked into a suburban Phoenix gun shop to buy a 9-millimeter pistol.
At the time, Lone Wolf Trading Co. was known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. And with Soofi's history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, there was a chance his purchase might raise red flags in the federal screening process.
Inside the store, he fudged some facts on the form required of would-be gun buyers. What Soofi could not have known was that Lone Wolf was at the center of a federal sting operation known as Fast and Furious, targeting Mexican drug lords and traffickers. The idea of the secret program was to allow Lone Wolf to sell illegal weapons to criminals and straw purchasers, and track the guns back to large smuggling networks and drug cartels.
Soofi's attempt to buy a gun caught the attention of authorities, who slapped a seven-day hold on the transaction, according to his Feb. 24, 2010, firearms transaction record, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Then, for reasons that remain unclear, the hold was lifted after 24 hours, and Soofi got the 9-millimeter.
In other words, ATF and the FBI pushed through a shady gun sale that ultimately was used in a terror attack against Americans on U.S. soil.
Not surprisingly the FBI has been stonewalling information about Soofi's firearm and the guns used during the Garland attack for months. They did the same when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by Mexican drug bandits in Arizona on December 15, 2010. The guns used in his murder were also sold as part of Operation Fast and Furious. More from Serrano:
A day after the attack, the Department of Justice sent an "urgent firearms disposition request" to Lone Wolf, seeking more information about Soofi and the pistol he bought in 2010, according to a June 1 letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, to U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch.
Though the request did not specify whether the gun was used in the Garland attack, Justice Department officials said the information was needed "to assist in a criminal investigation," according to Johnson's letter, also reviewed by The Times.
The FBI so far has refused to release any details, including serial numbers, about the weapons used in Garland by Soofi and Simpson. Senate investigators are now pressing law enforcement agencies for answers, raising the chilling possibility that a gun sold during the botched Fast and Furious operation ended up being used in a terrorist attack against Americans.
Keep in mind not a single person involved in Operation Fast and Furious has been fired. In fact, many Department of Justice officials and ATF supervisors have been promoted. ATF agents who exposed the scandal, however, have faced extreme retaliation in addition to career and personal sabotage.