The Los Angeles Times reported, Nadiv Soofi one of two Garland, Texas jihadis, the other was roommate Elton Simpson, killed in the May 2015 attack illegally purchased a weapon in 2010 from a Fast and Furious front in Phoenix, “Assailant in Garland, Texas, attack bought gun in 2010 under Fast and Furious operation”. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) picked up on this and senate investigators are looking into how a terrorist killed in the Texas purchased a weapon illegally from the much maligned Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) “gun walking” program. Fast and Furious first came to light in 2010 with the tragic killing of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry by one of the ” gun walking” weapons used by a drug cartel member.
You may recall that former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder criticized Republicans in 2011 for “politicizing” the furor over the revelations. In testimony before Congress Holder eschewed knowledge and responsibilities simply saying it was “flawed in its concept, and flawed in its execution”. He was charged with contempt of Congress for his testimony.
The Times investigative report by Richard Serrano noted:
Five years before he was shot to death in the failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, Nadir Soofi walked into a suburban Phoenix gun shop to buy a 9-millimeter pistol.
At the time, Lone Wolf Trading Co. was known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. And with Soofi’s history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, there was a chance his purchase might raise red flags in the federal screening process.
Inside the store, he fudged some facts on the form required of would-be gun buyers.
What Soofi could not have known was that Lone Wolf was at the center of a federal sting operation known as Fast and Furious, targeting Mexican drug lords and traffickers. The idea of the secret program was to allow Lone Wolf to sell illegal weapons to criminals and straw purchasers, and track the guns back to large smuggling networks and drug cartels.
Instead, federal agents lost track of the weapons and the operation became a fiasco, particularly after several of the missing guns were linked to shootings in Mexico and the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.
Soofi’s attempt to buy a gun caught the attention of authorities, who slapped a seven-day hold on the transaction, according to his Feb. 24, 2010, firearms transaction record, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Then, for reasons that remain unclear, the hold was lifted after 24 hours, and Soofi got the 9-millimeter.
As the owner of a small pizzeria, the Dallas-born Soofi, son of a Pakistani American engineer and American nurse, would not have been the primary focus of federal authorities, who back then were looking for smugglers and drug lords.
He is now.
In May, Soofi and his roommate, Elton Simpson, burst upon the site of a Garland cartoon convention that was offering a prize for the best depiction of the prophet Muhammad, something offensive to many Muslims. Dressed in body armor and armed with three pistols, three rifles and 1,500 rounds of ammunition, the pair wounded a security officer before they were killed by local police.
A day after the attack, the Department of Justice sent an “urgent firearms disposition request” to Lone Wolf, seeking more information about Soofi and the pistol he bought in 2010, according to a June 1 letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, to U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch.
Though the request did not specify whether the gun was used in the Garland attack, Justice Department officials said the information was needed “to assist in a criminal investigation,” according to Johnson’s letter, also reviewed by The Times.
The FBI so far has refused to release any details, including serial numbers, about the weapons used in Garland by Soofi and Simpson. Senate investigators are now pressing law enforcement agencies for answers, raising the chilling possibility that a gun sold during the botched Fast and Furious operation ended up being used in a terrorist attack against Americans.
Among other things, Johnson is demanding to know whether federal authorities have recovered the gun Soofi bought in 2010, where it was recovered and whether it had been discharged, according to the letter. He also demanded an explanation about why the initial seven-day hold was placed on the 2010 pistol purchase and why it was lifted after 24 hours.
Asked recently for an update on the Garland shooting, FBI Director James B. Comey earlier this month declined to comment. “We’re still sorting that out,” he said.
This is mind numbing. Nadir Soofi, one of the two jihadis killed in the May 2015 Garland, Texas AFDI Mohammed cartoon contest attack purchased a weapon illegally from the Fast and Furious sting front in Phoenix, with the ironic name of Lone Wolf Trading. Ask yourself why this illegal transaction occurred despite Soofi’s drug and assault charges record. This latest revelation demonstrates that the BATF sting operation was totally misguided and worked against apprehension of suspects giving material aid to Islamic terrorism. Notice this info occurred after record checks were run on weapons seized by local Garland police and run through the federal gun clearance data base.
Too bad that former attorney general Eric Holder, now at premier D.C. law firm Covington and Burling, and the former BATF program officials were never investigated or referred for possible prosecution for this lame brained scheme.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is from Twitter.