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FBI Identifies One Of The Shooters At Mohammed Cartoon Contest In Garland, Texas

| by Lisa Fogarty

An Islamic State fighter claimed on Twitter that two ISIS members were responsible for the shooting of a security guard who was standing outside of the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas where an anti-Islam art contest was taking place on Sunday evening. The two alleged ISIS members were then shot dead by police.

The FBI has revealed the identity of one of the shooters as Elton Simpson, a Phoenix, Arizona, native who was convicted five years ago of lying to police about traveling to Africa, reports the Daily Mail. He was suspected of joining a terrorist organization at the time, but a judge ruled that could not be proven. 

Simpson and another armed man reportedly opened fire at the art contest in Garland, which called for artists to draw their best caricature of the Prophet Muhammad in exchange for a $10,000 prize.

After artist Bosch Fawstin won the the first place prize, an unarmed security guard named Bruce Joiner, 57, was shot in the ankle, and other armed guards quickly returned fire, fatally shooting both attackers before anyone else could get hurt, reports ABC News. Joiner has since been treated and released from a local hospital.

For one week prior to the contest, several tweets were posted, calling for an attack at the Curtis Culwell Center. Authorities say Simpson was responsible for several of the tweets, as well as the very last one sent about half and hour before the shooting incident.

Immediately following the attack, one jihadist named Abu Hussain AlBritani reportedly tweeted, "2 of our brothers just opened fire."

Simpson's Phoenix home has since been searched by both FBI agents and a bomb squad. Authorities are reportedly still trying to identify the second suspect.

The event was attended by Dutch politican Geert Wilders and organized by Pamela Geller.

Geller, the leader of the program Stop Islamisation of America, defended the decision to hold the contest: "This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?"

The Stop Islamisation of America program is part of the controversial American Freedom Defense Initiative. According to CNN, the American Freedom Defense Initiative calls itself a human rights organization that defends freedom of speech and equal rights of all people, but is listed as an "anti-Muslim hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Sources: Daily Mail, ABC News, CNN

Photo Credit: Daily Mail, cnn.com

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