from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas
WIENER, HIGGINSON, and HO, Circuit Judges.
C. HO, CIRCUIT JUDGE
district court dismissed this case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act and the
Anti-Terrorism Act. It also precluded additional discovery.
3, 2015, Bruce Joiner was on duty as a security guard for the
"First Annual Muhammed Art Exhibit and Contest" in
Garland, Texas. That day, a pair of Islamic terrorists-Elton
Simpson and Nadir Soofi-attacked the event site and shot
Joiner in the leg.
Simpson and Soofi were subjects of an ongoing FBI
investigation at the time of the shooting. As early as 2007,
Simpson, an Arizona citizen, was flagged for potential
terrorist sympathies. By 2010, Simpson became friendly with
Soofi, a fellow mosque member. Around this time, Soofi
attempted to purchase a handgun from the Lone Wolf Trading
Company in Arizona. The Lone Wolf store was part of the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' "Fast and
Furious" gunwalking operation, where federal agents
would sell firearms to unauthorized buyers in hopes of
tracing them back to the Mexican cartel. A background check
identified Soofi as possibly being ineligible to purchase a
firearm, and a seven-day hold was initially placed on the
sale. It was lifted after twenty-four hours, at which point
Soofi bought the gun.
January 7, 2015, terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda attacked
the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in retaliation
for the magazine's publication of cartoons depicting the
prophet Muhammad. Ten days later, an Islamic group held a
conference at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas,
called "Stand with the Prophet in Honor and
Respect." The conference featured criticism of those who
published likenesses of Muhammad. In response, another
organization planned a "Draw the Prophet" event,
also to be held in Garland.
denounced the "Draw the Prophet" event in a Twitter
exchange with Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, an ISIS leader in
Somalia. Simpson tweeted, "When will they ever
learn," and Hassan responded, "The brothers from
the Charlie Hebdo attack did their part. It's time for
brothers in the #US to do their part."
point, Erick Jamal Hendricks, a South Carolina man, contacted
Simpson via Twitter. Hendricks had been working to establish
an ISIS cell in the United States and was being investigated
by and in communication with an undercover FBI agent known as
UCE-1. UCE-1 initially contacted Hendricks on social media,
posing as a Muslim interested in joining ISIS. After vetting
UCE-1, Hendricks asked for his help recruiting members for a
domestic terror group. UCE-1 contacted Simpson on April 23,
2015, at Hendricks' instruction. The next day, Simpson
and UCE-1 had the following conversation over social media:
UCE-1: Tear up Texas.
Simpson: Bro, u don't have to say that . . . U know what
happened in Paris . . . I think . . . Yes or no . . . ?
Simpson: So that goes without saying . . . No need to be