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Investigators question connection between Texas shooters and Islamic State

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in Texas outside an exhibit and contest of cartoons considered offensive by many Muslims. If true, it would be the first attack on U.S. soil by the militant group. But investigators questioned any direct connection between the Islamic State and the two American Muslim shooters, who were shot and killed by a policeman. Judy Woodruff reports.

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    Now the latest on the weekend shootings in Garland, Texas.

    Two attackers were killed there Sunday outside an exhibit and contest of cartoons considered offensive by many Muslims. Today, a major militant group weighed in.

    The post on their radio Web site was the first time the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on U.S. soil.

  • MAN (through interpreter):

    Two soldiers of the Islamic caliphate carried out an attack on a drawing exhibition in Garland, Texas, in America showing insulting drawings of the prophet. And we tell America that what is coming will be even more bitter and harder.


    But investigators questioned any direct connection between the militant group and the shooters in Texas. The White House echoed that caution today.

  • JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary:

    This is still under investigation by the FBI and other members of the intelligence community to determine any ties or affiliations that these two individuals may have had with ISIL or other terror organizations around the world, so it's too early to say at this point.


    What is known is that the two gunmen were American Muslims living in Arizona. They wounded a security guard outside the Garland, Texas, event center before a policeman shot and killed both of them. One of the attackers, Elton Simpson, had been convicted of lying to the FBI in a terror investigation in 2011.

    Kristina Sitton was his defense lawyer.

    KRISTINA SITTON, Simpson's lawyer: I never saw any indications that he was violent. I always saw the peaceful side of him. We would be meeting for hours at a time, and he would ask if he could — if there was an office where he could go and pray.


    The second gunman, Nadir Soofi, lived at the same apartment complex as Simpson in Phoenix. His mother spoke today in Houston.

    SHARON SOOFI, Gunman's mother: He's an intelligent kid. I mean, but to be convinced to do something like this is beyond — it's just beyond me.


    Meanwhile, a group of Islamists in Pakistan held a memorial service for Simpson and Soofi today. A cleric said the two men should be praised as martyrs.

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