A lot has happened in the last 24 hours in Garland Texas due to what is being called an ISIS-connected attempted terrorist shooting, that was thwarted by two security officers. With media such as the well respected outlet The Atlantic writing headlines such as “A Terror Attack in Texas“, and other outlets linking the attack to ISIS, there is a lot to consume. For many who are just catching up, here’s what is known so far from the mainstream media:
- “[A] Sunday night event in Garland [Texas] invited cartoonists to send in caricatures of Mohammed. It was organized by the American Freedom Defense Initiative — considered an anti-Muslim group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.” (source: CNN)
- “According to police, the men drove into the parking lot of the Curtis Culwell Center about 6:50 p.m. (7:50 ET), just as the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” inside was ending.” (source: CNN)
- “As soon as the officers stepped out of the car to check the vehicle’s occupants, the two men left their vehicle and began firing, Harn said.” (source: CNN)
- “Garland, Texas, shooting suspect linked himself to ISIS in tweets” (source: CNN)
- “The keynote speaker [at the event] was on an al-Qaida hit list that included Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier, who was gunned down with 11 others in an attack French satirical publication’s Paris offices in January.” (source: Yahoo! News)
- “One of the gunmen, identified as Elton Simpson, had been the subject of a previous terrorist investigation, was a known sympathizer of the Islamic State terrorist group [ISIS] and is suspected of publishing a tweet with the hashtag #TexasAttack prior to the shooting.” (source: Yahoo! News)
- AFP Headline read: “US police shoot suspected jihadists in new cartoon attack” (AFP, Yahoo! News)
- “Incident and event invoking both January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks and the anti-Muslim cartoons from Europe that sparked the controversy over Hebdo.” (source: Christian Science Monitor)
There have been a lot of interesting news pieces written in the hours since the attacks. The Associated Press, via Yahoo! News, wrote: “[The] bomb squad was called in to search the gunmen’s bodies and their car for explosives. ‘Because of the situation of what was going on today and the history of what we’ve been told has happened at other events like this, we are considering their car [is] possibly containing a bomb,’ Joe Harn, a spokesman for the Garland Police Department, said at a news conference.”
Local NBC 5 reporters tweeted seeing and/or hearing an explosion occur near the site while investigators were investigating the vehicle:
Something many were immediately questioning was is if there was an EMP, or electronic magnetic pulse device, used or detonated by law enforcement during the car search:
ACLU’s Christopher Soghoian wondered who were responsible for the EMP devices/explosions heard in Garland Texas: the local police or federal agents. Soghoian wondered aloud that if it was local police – it would then beg the question of whether or not EMP are something that are being added to the local law enforcement’s growing list of weapons.
Later, CNS News reported [investigators] found no explosives in the men’s vehicle, however a local law enforcement officer, Joe Harn, said “[I]nvestigators searched the men’s car and detonated several suspicious items, but no bombs were found in the vehicle” (source: CNS News)
Many media outlets are referring to the event as a “Free Speech” event, with Hot Air News writing an article headlined “Security officer shot during attack on free speech event in Garland, Texas“, while Rukmini Callimachi, who, according to her official twitter account is the” Foreign correspondent for The New York Times, focusing on Islamic extremism. Previously, seven years in West Africa as bureau chief for The Associated Press” tweeted:
Many people on twitter railed against her tweet, as a journalist for one of the largest newspapers in the world, for using the phrase “free speech aside”:
Elton Simpson, one of the two gunmen who were shot and killed by security officers during their attempted attack’s prior terror investigation court documents are public and can be read on Scribd.
While there are many fingers being pointed to ISIS, much is still unknown about the attack. According to the Huffington Post, the attack is “a Win for ISIS and Islamophobes, and a Loss for Everyone Else”. According to Zero Hedge, in their article titled “ISIS Claims Responsibility For Texas Shooting That Leaves Two Dead, Police Officer Injured“, this attack could be a sign of more to come: “If indeed ISIS has found its way to the US, whether for pure provocation, false flag or any other “purposes” of inciting terrorist acts, this will likely be just the first of (many) other attacks which will see the successor of al Qaeda take responsibility for.”
Zero Hedge wrote:
Yesterday, around 7 pm, dozens of people were at a contest hosted by New York-based American freedom Defense Initiative at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas when police said two men pulled up in a vehicle and shot a Garland Independent School District Security guard in the ankle at about 7 p.m. The men were then shot and killed by Garland police.
The incident occurred as the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland hosted a controversial art event put on by New York-based American freedom Defense Initiative featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
However, as the recent massacre at the Paris Charlie Hebdo offices showed, such drawings are deemed insulting to many followers of Islam and have sparked violence around the world. According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous.
According to NBCDFW, “Texas officials are actively investigating to determine the cause and scope of the senseless attack,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. “This is a crime that was quickly ended thanks to the swift action by Garland law enforcement.”
The security guard, 58-year-old Bruce Joiner, was treated released from a hospital nearly two hours later, police said.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected tonight,” Abbott said.
As NBC further reports, fears of an “incendiary device” inside the suspects’ vehicle prompted an investigation by a bomb squad unit and the evacuation of nearby businesses. Police are currently using robotic detection equipment to search the vehicle. No device has been found as of this writing.
Dr. Bilal Rana, President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association released the following statement:
“On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association — the largest Muslim youth group in the country — we stand by our fellow Americans in shock and horror at today’s shooting. While we wait for investigators to tell us more about the shooters, we wholly condemn any such acts of violence and find them completely unjustifiable. Our faith calls us to engage in dialogue. So we condemn any use of violence to intimidate anyone.”
Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, said that she planned the Sunday event to make a stand for free speech in response to the outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad.
And while the FBI did not have any immediate comments or speculation on the reason behind the attac, according to the Site intel group, overnight it was Islamic State supporters who took “credit” for the bungled shooting attack.
If indeed ISIS has found its way to the US, whether for pure provocation, false flag or any other “purposes” of inciting terrorist acts, this will likely be just the first of (many) other attacks which will see the successor of al Qaeda take responsibility for.
So with what is known so far about the Garland Texas shooting – what do you think? Let YourNewsWire know in the comment sections below!
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