Texas police were warned about ISIS attack TWO DAYS days before deadly shootout by Anonymous activist
- Woman living outside US found references to looming attack in Texas on Twitter and sent message to Garland Police Department
- No one noticed the tweet, and two days later Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi opened fire outside Muhammad art contest
- Simpson and Soofi were both killed by police, but not before they wounded unarmed guard
An activist linked to the international hackers' collective Anonymous tipped off police in Garland, Texas, about an eminent attack on an anti-Islam event two days before it happened - but the red flag went unnoticed.
Police and the FBI say Elton Simpson, 30, and his roommate, 34-year-old Nadir Soofi, from Phoenix, Arizona, opened fire Sunday evening on an unarmed security guard outside a contest featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The deliberately provocative contest had been expected to draw outrage from the Muslim community. According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad — even a respectful one — is considered blasphemous, and drawings similar to those featured at the Texas event have sparked violence around the world.
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Anonymous tipster: An activist linked to the international hackers' collective Anonymous tipped off police in Garland, Texas, about an eminent attack on an anti-Islam event two days before it happened
Radicalized: Elton Simpson (left), 30, and his roommate, 34-year-old Nadir Soofi (right), opened fire Sunday evening on an unarmed security guard outside a contest featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad
Mayhem: Local police and FBI investigators collect evidence, including a rifle, where two gunmen were shot dead in Garland, Texas
Personnel remove the bodies of two Simpson and Soofi, who were killed after they opened fire on a security officer outside a suburban Dallas venue
Simpson and Soofi were wearing body armor, and one shot the guard in the leg. A police officer returned fire and struck both men, who eventually died as SWAT team members also started firing at them.
The guard, 57-year-old Bruce Joiner, was treated for his injury at a hospital and later released.
The Daily Dot reported Monday that the Garland Police Department had received advance warning of the attack two days earlier, courtesy of a woman living outside the US who has identified herself as an affiliate of the Anonymous network.
The global community of hackers has been known to keep tabs on, and pester, Twitter accounts linked to ISIS militants.
On Friday evening, the unnamed Anonymous member came upon references to a looming attack in Garland, Texas, made by the user @AnsarAlUmmah49.
The woman then sent a message to the Garland Police Department's official Twitter account that read: 'we feel something is in preparation about an exposition in your city. Please follow this # twitter.com/AnsarAlUmmah49...’
Target: Police stand guard outside the Curtis Culwell Center, which hosted Sunday a provocative contest for Prophet Muhammed cartoons
Blacked out: Heavily armed police secure artwork before the Dutch member of parliament and leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders delivers the keynote address at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest at the Curtis Culwell Center Sunday
But despite the Good Samaritan’s efforts, her tip never made it to the desk of the right people at the department.
Garland PD spokesperson Joe Hard told the website he had known nothing about the Twitter warning until Monday.
Harn said the FBI and agents with the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms had been monitoring online chatter in the run-up to the controversial event, but police did not see anything suspicious on Twitter.
The Anonymous activist insisted that she deserved little praise for firing off a tweet to the cops.
‘The real heroes are the police and the security guy who has been injured,’ the foreign national told the Daily Dot. ‘And the people who dare draw Mohammad.’
Followers of ISIS had been calling for an attack online for more than a week after learning that the competition in Garland would feature a 'draw Muhammad' art contest, with a prize of $10,000 for the best caricature.
Slipped through the cracks: Garland PD spokesperson Joe Hard said he had known nothing about the Twitter warning until Monday
After the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group reported that an Islamic State fighter claimed on Twitter that the shooting was carried out by two pro-Isis individuals.
Other ISIS supporters claimed on Twitter that one of the gunmen, believed to be Elton Simpson, was a man calling himself Shariah Is Light on the social media site, using the now-suspended account name @atawaakul, according to New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi .
He had posted a message earlier that said 'the bro with me and myself have given bay'ah [oath] to Amirul Mu'mineen [ISIS leader Al Baghdadi]. May Allah accept us as mujahideen #texasattack' .
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