James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said federal investigators warned Garland, Texas, police about one of the two gunmen who allegedly opened fire at a cartoon contest. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- The FBI warned Garland, Texas, police about one of the two gunmen who allegedly shot a security guard outside a Prophet Muhammad art contest, FBI Director James Comey said.
Comey said the FBI had no indication Elton Simpson was planning an attack, but told local police outside Dallas he was "interested in the event."
Simpson, 30, and his roommate Nadir Soofi, both of Phoenix, were killed Sunday after they allegedly opened fire outside the Garland Independent School District's Curtis Culwell Center where a "Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest" was taking place.
The gunmen reportedly got out of the car and shot a security guard in the ankle before they were shot and killed by police. The security guard, 62-year-old Bruce Joiner, was taken to the hospital and later released.
The FBI was aware of Simpson because he had allegedly had private and public communications with Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan, an American-born militant who traveled to Somalia to join the al-Shabab terror group, and Jenaid Hussein, a British-born militant with ties to the Islamic State.
IS -- also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL -- claimed responsibility for the Garland attack Tuesday.
Comey said the FBI didn't known the two men were on their way to the cartoon contest, and he doesn't believe the officer who shot the two men was even aware of the bulletin.
The FBI had provided a list of suspected extremists who had shown interest in the event to Garland police. Simpson's photo and a possible vehicle license plate were shared with local law enforcement.