The Texas senator, Ted Cruz, criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for failing to protect the American people from terrorist attacks, like the one that occurred Sunday night in Dallas, Texas when two men, servants of Muhammad, were shot dead after opening fire outside a Muhammad illustration contest. According to Joe Harn, a Garland police spokesman, the two men, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, casually pulled up to North Garland’s Culwell Event Center in one car, then both stepped out of the car and immediately commenced to shoot their firearms. This all happened just as the cartoon contest and art exhibit featuring Muhammad was finishing up.
Fortunately, police were already present at the event for security purposes. When the two men opened fire, an unarmed security guard was shot in the leg. Police did not hesitate to fire back, shooting and killing both gunmen. The injured security guard was taken to the nearest hospital, treated and released the same night. The mayor of Garland, Douglas Athas, stated that the first gunman was shot and killed instantaneously, while the second gunman, who had first been wounded before receiving the fatale shot, was trying to reach for his backpack just before he was killed.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, a known anti-Muslim group, sponsored the event that night, which made the need for heavy security an absolute must. The group stated that the reason behind the venue they chose was because it was also used in January to host an event for people who denounced Islamophobia. The event on Sunday was an opportunity for cartoonists to win $10,000 for whoever created the best cartoon of Prophet Muhammad.
According to police, most of the people who attended the event were from out of state. Security did not take any chances that night, having all event guests walk through metal detectors before entering the building, as well as turning away anyone that did not have a purchased ticket on hand.
Police spokesman, Harn, said that Garland law enforcement was already prepared for an attack, because any illustration depicting the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemy amongst Muslims. Also, the fact that Geert Wilders, an ultraconservative Dutch politician, whose name is listed on an al Qaeda hit list, was the event speaker, that made the event an automatic target for terrorists.
Michael McCaul, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, stated that Simpson, one of the gunmen, was being watched due to his twitter account linking to images of a radical religious leader who was born in America and killed in Yemen from a CIA drone strike, as well as being involved in an open investigation case during the time of his death. Details of that case remain undisclosed.
The FBI keeps track of accounts on social media that have been linked to violent extremists and most of them were fixated on the Texas Prophet Muhammad contest, where the two Muhammad servants were shot dead, so it was obvious that there was a very high chance for an attack. The unexplainable part of this story is how Simpson had even posted in a tweet sent out before his death, hash tag Texas attack, basically exposing his plans to the entire world.
Presidential candidate and senator of Texas, Cruz, has a sound and valid reason to be outraged about the gunmen not being stopped when all the signs of an attack were starring everyone directly in the face. What was the point of providing the event with heavy, tight security, when they could not even prevent a guard from being shot?
There seems to be a lot of snoozing happening on all fronts of this situation. That entire incident could have been prevented and should have been prevented. To know that there is clear evidence of an approaching attack by servants of Muhammad, but proper steps to avert an attack go undone, then that calls for an explanation to the American people and some sort of strategy plan created to ensure that these major oversights, which caused two men to be shot dead in Texas, do not continue to occur.
Opinion By Kameron Hadley
Photo By Gage Skidmore- Creativecommons Flickr License