Claiming an FBI undercover agent bears responsibility for the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack at the “Draw Muhammad” free-speech event in Garland, Texas, in 2015, the security guard wounded in the incident is suing the bureau for damages.
Bruce Joiner charges the FBI is liable because one of its agents “solicited, encouraged, directed and aided members of ISIS in planning and carrying out the May 3 attack,” according to court documents filed Monday, reported the Washington Examiner.
As WND reported from the scene, two Muslims wearing body armor and armed with assault rifles who had traveled 1,000 miles to the Dallas suburb tried to penetrate the massive security set up by event organizers, estimated to have cost them up to $30,000. ISIS later claimed as their own the two men, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix, who were shot and killed by police after they jumped out of their vehicle at a parking-lot barrier and began firing.
One of the jihadists shot Joiner in the ankle.
The assailants, clearly planning a massive slaughter, were found to have had three rifles, three handguns, about 1,500 rounds of ammunition and a photocopied ISIS flag.
Joiner, claiming the FBI essentially allowed the attack to happen, seeks more than $8 million in damages.
“The FBI helped the terrorists obtain a weapon that was used in the attack by lifting a hold during a background check, incited the terrorist to attack the Garland event, and even sent an agent to accompany the terrorists as they carried out the attack,” the complaint states.
An FBI informant was revealed to have been at the scene of the attack through testimony in a separate court case and a “60 Minutes” report in March.
The FBI agent was in a car directly behind Simpson and Soofi when they began firing. According to the court case, the agent had texted Simpson just weeks before with the message, “Tear up Texas.”
A video from WFAA-TV in Dallas showed the agent being briefly detained by Garland Police after fleeing the scene.
Joiner’s lawsuit alleges that former FBI Director Jim Comey lied to the American people in a “post-attack cover-up.”
Comey, the complaint says, claimed Simpson was a “needle in a haystack” that was “invisible to us.”
“Even after it had come to light that an undercover FBI agent had been communicating extensively with the terrorists during the week prior to the event and had accompanied them as they carried out the attack, the FBI continued to assert that there ‘was no advance knowledge of a plot to attack the cartoon drawing contest,'” the complaint states.
The Examiner said the FBI did not respond to a request for comment.
‘They would have killed us’
Islam expert Robert Spencer, who helped organize the Garland event with blogger, author and activist Pamela Geller, wrote on his website Jihad Watch that he and Geller twice asked the FBI for an investigation into the role of the FBI agent but were ignored.
Spencer said that while the bureau apparently knew of the attack in advance, it didn’t have a team in place to stop the jihadis.
“They had one man there, and one man only,” he said.
“The jihadis were not stopped by FBI agents, but by our own security team. If the jihadis had gotten through our team, they would have killed Pamela Geller and me, and many others.”
Spencer added that the attackers “no doubt have loved to kill Geert Wilders,” the Dutch politician known for his criticism of Islam who was the event’s keynote speaker, but he left before the attack took place.
Geller, who hired a SWAT team and paid an additional $10,000 to local police for protection, was named by ISIS as the main target for “slaughter.” Later, ISIS follower Usaamah Rahim, who was fatally shot by Boston police officers after trying to attack them, was found by the FBI to have plotted to behead Geller.
‘Present at the event’
Joiner’s attorney, Trenton Roberts, told the Washington Examiner in April that he now believes the FBI might have been willing to let the attack unfold to even greater lengths.
“It seems like it had to have been one or the other,” Roberts said. “Just a complete botched operation where they [the FBI] don’t want the attack to actually take place, or, it’s something where they need the attack to take place in order for this guy [the agent] to advance in the world of ISIS.
“And that’s really what I think. I think that they thought, ‘He’s undercover and in order to advance, he needed to get pictures or video of this attack,’ and then that would bolster his street cred within ISIS,” Roberts said.
Inquiries to the FBI about the role of the agent have been submitted, apparently to no avail, by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Joiner’s complaint also points to evidence suggesting Simpson and Soofi may have been connected to the failed “Fast and Furious” operation by President Obama’s Department of Justice.
A third suspect in the Garland case, 43-year-old Muslim convert Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for helping plan the attack and providing the other two suspects with weapons.
It was Kareem’s attorney, Dan Maynard, who uncovered the FBI agent’s proximity to the attack.
Maynard, interviewed in the March 26 “60 Minutes” segment, said he discovered after Kareem’s trial an affidavit filed in another case in which the government disclosed that the FBI undercover agent had “traveled to Garland, Texas, and was present … at the event.”
In November 2016, Maynard was given another batch of documents that revealed the undercover agent was in a car directly behind Simpson and Soofi when they started shooting.
Maynard said he wants to ask the FBI if the agent had other communications with Simpson and why he was in Garland, but the bureau would not agree to an interview.
He received only an email from the FBI stating: “There was no advance knowledge of a plot to attack the cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas.”
“I can’t tell you whether the FBI knew the attack was gonna occur,” Maynard told interviewer Anderson Cooper. “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.”
Cooper asked Seamus Hughes, a former National Counter Terrorism Center staffer who trains FBI agents, what might have happened if the attack “had gone a different way, and lots of people had been killed.”
“Would the fact that an undercover FBI agent was on the scene have become essentially a scandal?” inquired Cooper.
“It woulda been a bigger story,” replied Hughes, the deputy director of George Washington University’s Program On Extremism. “I think you would have seen congressional investigations and things like that. Lucky for the FBI and for the participants in the event you know, here in Texas, you know, everyone’s a good shot there.”