Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who serves as Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman, said Thursday he launched a probe to look into whether the FBI did nothing to prevent a 2015 ISIS-inspired attack the agency may have known about before it happened, Fox News reports.
Johnson also wants to know if the FBI later misconstrued facts about the situation surrounding the attack that happened at a Dallas, Texas-area art show highlighting work that featured depictions of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. Depicting Mohammed through images is considered an offense in Islamic law.
According to Fox News, Sen. Johnson launched the investigation after a report surfaced last month on “60 Minutes” revealing the FBI was monitoring one of the two attackers, 31-year-old Elton Simpson, for years. Simpson and 34-year-old Nadir Soofi attempted to enter the show and shoot attendees.
However, local law enforcement guarding the art event stopped Simpson and Soofi before they could enter the facility. Police engaged in a shootout with both men, resulting in the deaths of the perpetrators.
According to the 60 Minutes report, an undercover FBI agent was following both the terrorists and took video of the shooting incident through a cell phone from just 30 feet away.
“It is concerning that when I wrote to the FBI and Department of Justice, they never told me about the fact that they had some FBI asset, whether it was an agent or informant, tailing Soofi and Simpson,” Johnson told Fox.
Johnson wants to know why the FBI’s hiring of an informant, known as Dabla Deng, was paid $132,000 for getting close to Simpson and recording 1,500 hours of their private discussions.
“Why didn’t they intervene? As a member of the Senate oversight committee, I think these agencies should be honest when we actually ask them the questions. But it begs the question, what was the FBI doing in Garland, and why wasn’t the agency direct with me when we first started writing letters about this back in 2015?” Johnson said.