If you recall, back in May 2015 Pam Geller was hosting an artistic event — something that was as deserving of funding as anything ever underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts — a “Draw Mohammed” contest at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. The ambiance was either ruined or accentuated, depending upon your point of view, by the unscheduled appearance of a couple of adherents of Mohammed who engaged in a fatal, for them, gunfight with a security guard.
We’ve known for some time that the terrorists were a) known to the FBI and b) somewhat incited by the FBI.
THE REVELATION THAT an undercover FBI agent encouraged a would-be terrorist to “Tear up Texas” shortly before he opened fire on a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, last year raises new concerns about FBI counterterrorism efforts that were already under fire for manufacturing terrorism cases rather than halting them.
According to an affidavit filed in a related case last week, Elton Simpson — one of two men who donned body armor and fired assault weapons before being shot dead by a Garland police officer — had been corresponding with an undercover FBI agent. And in a text message roughly a week before the attack, as they discussed the cartoon contest, the agent had exhorted Simpson to “Tear up Texas.”
It was eventually revealed that the FBI knew the terrorists were in Garland and gave Garland police a nebulous warning:
Three hours before gunmen attacked an anti-Prophet Muhammad event in Garland, Texas on Sunday, the FBI sent a bulletin to local police with a photo of one of the shooters, Elton Simpson, noting that he was “interested in the event,” FBI director James Comey said.
At the time, the FBI had no reason to believe that Simpson intended to attack the event, Comey told reporters Thursday. Nor did the agency know that Simpson was already on his way there.
Last night on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper basically drove a stake through the heart of Comey’s statement. Not only did the FBI know that the shooters were already on their way to Garland, there was an FBI agent literally right behind their car when the gunfight broke out.
Transcript via RealClearPolitics:
Dan Maynard: I was shocked. I mean I was shocked that the government hadn’t turned this over. I wanted to know when did he get there, why was he there?
And this past November, Maynard was given another batch of documents by the government, revealing the biggest surprise of all. The undercover FBI agent was in a car directly behind Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi when they started shooting. This cell-phone photo of school security guard Bruce Joiner and police officer Greg Stevens was taken by the undercover agent seconds before the attack.
Anderson Cooper: The idea that he’s taking photograph of the two people who happen to be attacked moments before they’re attacked.
Dan Maynard: I would love to ask the undercover agent– Are these the only communications that you had with Simpson? Did you have more communications with Simpson? How is it that you ended up coming to Garland, Texas? Why are you even there?
We wanted to ask the FBI those same questions. But the bureau would not agree to an interview. All the FBI would give us was this email statement. It reads: “There was no advance knowledge of a plot to attack the cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas.”
If you’re wondering what happened to the FBI’s undercover agent, he fled the scene but was stopped at gunpoint by Garland police. This is video of him in handcuffs, recorded by a local news crew. We’ve blurred his face to protect his identity.
Dan Maynard: I can’t tell you whether the FBI knew the attack was gonna occur. I don’t like to think that they let it occur. But it is shocking to me that an undercover agent sees fellas jumping out of a car and he drives on. I find that shocking.
There used to be a widespread belief that the FBI moved criminals onto its “most wanted” list anytime it had located them and was about to swoop in for an arrest. Much the same allegation has floated around in regards to their dealing with terror suspects. The only terrorists that seem to slip through the crack are those not working with an FBI agent or informer. Given the way in which the Obama administration was cavalier about collateral damage in pursuit of its agenda (see Fast & Furious), it really isn’t hard to imagine the FBI shadowing the gunmen all the way to the event. A cynic might even say they could have viewed this as a twofer. Not only would the FBI get the credit for killing or capturing terrorists but some troublesome rightwingers would be killed in the process and a lot more would be scared off.
Two things are very certain here. Either the attorney, Dan Maynard, is lying and his video totally fraudulent or the FBI Director lied through his teeth about the FBI’s level of involvement in and knowledge of the Garland shooting. If an agent was on the scene, it seems to me that prosecution is in order for the agent, at a minimum, and Comey needs to be sent packing.