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Texas Muslim Shooters’ Profile: Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi, both suspects killed in the Garland, Texas jihad attack have been identified from the Arizona vehicle registrations and driver photo IDs. Simpson, 30, and Soofi, 34 were roommates in a central Phoenix condominium. The Phoenix condominium was the subject of an FBI and police bomb squad investigation early this morning

Simpson was the author of the tweets sent just before the attack. He has been the subject of an FBI terrorism investigation since 2006 and was convicted in a Federal Court trial in 2011 for material support for terrorism, an attempt to travel to Somalia to Join Al Shabaab. One of the two perpetrators is alleged as having connections to CAIR, the self-styled Muslim civil rights group, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

 ISIS in a series of tweets,  sent prior to the May 3rd Muhammad Art Contest sponsored by Pam Geller’s American Freedom  Defense Initiative,   inspired brothers  in the U.S. to undertake an attack on the event. ISIS social media claimed responsibility for the attack in which both perpetrators were killed and a security officer slightly injured. The pre-event ISIS tweets doubtless increased the security arrangements at the AFDI event. A purported Muhammad Art contest  that featured a speech by Dutch Freedom Party leader, Geert Wilders and appearances by Rep. Louie Gohmert, Geller and Robert Spencer and others.  200 attendees were in lockdown following the attack and vehicles impounded as evidence in the crime scene. The event was webcast yesterday by the team from The United West led by Tom Trento.

Trento will discuss his experience at the Garland, Texas Muhammad Art Contest event with this writer and Mike Bates, co-host of “Your Turn” on 1330am WEBY, Northwest Florida‘s Talk Radio.  You may listen live here.

Heavy.com has compiled a dossier on the perpetrators of last night jihad attack in Garland, Texas, “Elton Simpson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.”  The article reported:

Elton Simpson has been identified as one of the two gunmen who opened fire Sunday night outside the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. An unarmed security guard was shot, but survived with a non-life-threatening wound, before Simpson and his accomplice were killed by police.

Simpson, 30, and the other gunman, his roommate, 34-year-old Nadir Hamid Soofi, are from Phoenix, Arizona.

Simpson was “well known” by the FBI and was the subject of a previous terror investigationABC News reports. He and Soofi were armed with assault rifles and wearing body protection, police said. They exchanged fire with a Garland police officer armed with handgun.

Simpson’s father, Dunston Simpson, told ABC News, “We are Americans and we believe in America. What my son did reflects very badly on my family,” adding that his son “made a bad choice.”

WFAA reports that FBI agents were searching the gunmen’s Phoenix, Arizona home.

Police also remain at the scene of the shooting, and have been examining the gunmen’s car. They were concerned about explosives being hidden inside it.

[…]

The FBI began investigating Simpson in 2006, when they began recording conversations he was having with an informant. He was arrested in 2010.

According to court records, Simpson received a sentence of three years probation in 2011 after he was found guilty of making a false statement to the FBI.

Simpson told FBI agents he had not talked with others about traveling to Somalia, when he in fact had talked to others about traveling to the African country, according to court documents. Judge Mary H. Murguia found there wasn’t enough evidence to support the FBI’s claim that the travel was related to terrorism. He had elected for a trial by the judge, rather than a jury.

The FBI had claimed that Simpson was traveling to Somalia to engage in “violent jihad.” The FBI claimed he was planning to travel to Africa to join the al-Shabaab terror group, which has since been responsible for the deadly Kenyan terror attacks at the Nairobi mall and Garissa University.

Simpson’s probation ended in 2014.

The Volokh Conspiracy blog wrote about the case in 2011, calling it a “partial government victory / partial defeat.”

Read the court order explaining why Simpson was found guilty:

According to court documents, Simpson was born in Illinois and then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he “converted to the Muslim religion at a young age.”

His attorney during the 2010 trial, Kristina Sitton, told ABC News that Simpson was on the no-fly list and the FBI had tried to convince him to cooperate with them, including after his conviction. Sitton said she thought Simpson was “harmless,” according to ABC News:

He grew up the most normal guy. Just a normal high school guy… Converting to Islam seemed like a good thing for him. He had been going down a bad path and then he found Islam. He never struck me as someone who would do this sort of thing. I’m not a bleeding heart, I’m a Republican. I’ve seen some pretty bad guys and he seemed pretty normal.

Simpson was working at a dentist’s office in Arizona, but had been on vacation prior to the shooting, his father told ABC News. Dunston Simpson said he last spoke to his son three weeks ago, but they “had not much to talk about, because we had some very serious differences.” Dunston Simpson said Elton was a “good kid.”

Here are some items from the Heavy.com dossier on Nadir Hamid Soofi, “Nadir Hamid Soofi: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know”:

According to his Facebook page, Soofi spent a considerable amount of time with his little brother. He’s a graduate of the University of Utah and the International School of Islamabad in Pakistan. His page also shows multiple posts featuring Palestinian and anti-police propaganda. Frequently, he posts the phrase “Eid Mubarak” meaning celebration to the blessed. Soofi was the owner of Effinity Solutions, a carpet cleaning business in Phoenix. In July 2013, he called himselfa “newbie to the carpet cleaning industry.”

[…]

AZ Family reports that the two gunmen lived at an apartment on 19th Avenue and Thunderbird Road (above) in Phoenix. The day after the shooting, FBI agents, some clad in bomb squad gear, searched the apartment. The car they drove to the attack in Garland was registered in Arizona. The car, a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt, was owned by Soofi. He tried to sell it back in March 2015 for nearly $9,000.

Police said prior Soofi’s name being released that the two had gone to the event with the intention of killing people. Both were armed with assault rifles. Garland cops stopped short of calling the attack a terrorist incident.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack on May 3, 2015.

Geert Wilders: ‘‘Now is the time for The Netherlands to stand with Israel’’

Hamas unilaterally breached a three day cease fire this morning with barrages of rockets fired at Israel shortly before it expired at 8:00 a.m. Israel time.  IDF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said:

The renewed rocket attacks by terrorists at Israel are unacceptable, intolerable and shortsighted. Hamas’ bad decision to breach the ceasefire will be pursued by the IDF, we will continue to strike Hamas, its infrastructure, its operatives and restore security for the State of Israel.

Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) leader, Geert Wilders was interviewed by NU.nl.  He raised the importance of Dutch solidarity with Israel in the face of recent anti-Semitic incidents in pro-Hamas and pro-IS rallies in Amsterdam and the Hague.   Wilders criticized Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans calling for an international investigation of Israel’s alleged “violence” in Gaza in interview. He also cited the “insanity” of Dutch government providing developmental funds to Hamas.

Here is Wilders’ exchange in the interview by NU.nl Politiek, “The Netherlands Must Stand with Israel”:

The end of the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is near and the call for an independent international investigation into Israel’s behavior is getting harder.

Not if it depends on PVV leader Geert Wilders. “We must unconditionally support Israel in the battle,” he tells NU.nl.

International criticism of the war behavior of both Hamas and especially Israel increases every day. In the Netherlands the tensions between ethnic groups increase as well. Last Tuesday, Minister Frans Timmermans (Foreign Affairs) wrote in an op-ed article in NRC Handelsblad that he finds the violence in Gaza “unacceptable.” What did you think of this article?

“Incomprehensible. He says it is not a fight between Jews and Muslims. Well, it isn’t a fight between Christians and Hindus. This is exactly what it is all about, and what is going on in the region. At a moment when Israel is the only democracy in the region and a bastion of the free West, we must stand firmly behind Israel.”

“Incomprehensible. He says it is not a fight between Jews and Muslims. Well, it isn’t a fight between Christians and Hindus. This is exactly what it is all about, and what is going on in the region. At a moment when Israel is the only democracy in the region and a bastion of the free West, we must stand firmly behind Israel.”

Do you miss that attitude?

“Yes, I miss that in the Netherlands. It does not surprise me of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Frans Timmermans) because I know that as a Labor politician his views are different than mine, but I find it incomprehensible that we do not show solidarity with Israel at this moment. I also find it incomprehensible that the minister does not point to the cause of the hatred of Jews, which exists within Hamas.”

Yet Minister Timmermans is also critical of the role of Hamas in the conflict. He condemns the storage of weapons in schools and hospitals, and the shelling of Israel. Timmermans also believes that Israel has a right to defend itself against this.

“This is not a time to be balanced. This is a time to choose. This is a moment that is not asking for balance, because balance is not necessary. Today we must defend a country that, as far as I know, does not aim to destroy any Arab country or people. The opposite is, however, true.”

“At such a moment you have to stand with the state of Israel and do not say ‘listen, this is not a conflict between Muslims and Jews’ and ‘the Israeli actions are disproportionate.’ Imagine that this would happen in the Netherlands, we would also hit back hard.”

But Timmermans also says in the op-ed piece and in the written consultation with Parliament last week that the government agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself?

“Yes, but in the meantime he criticizes Israel.”

Is he not allowed to question the proportionality of the Israeli use of violence?

“Sure he can. An investigation is also allowed. I would prefer he had not done it, but he is allowed to do it. However, I would have preferred it if he had demanded an investigation into the actions of Hamas. Everyone can read and see how Hamas is firing rockets from schools and hospitals.”

Still, an international independent investigation would be good to determine at least whether Israel has acted proportionately?

“No, this gives a wrong signal. What we forget is that the fight against Israel is a fight against everything that is not Islamic, a fight against freedom and democracy. If Israel falls, we are next. Timmermans should stand behind Israel.”

Unconditionally?

“Well, I do not say always and unconditionally, perhaps that is going a bit far. As far as I’m concerned, we stand unconditionally behind Israel in this fight, but of course not behind everything Israel does. That would be ridiculous.”

“This is not a territorial conflict, but an ideological conflict. Many people think that you can give land in exchange for peace. It is an illusion to think that if you give away a piece of land, you will get peace in return.”

“It is a mistake to believe in a two-state solution.”

You do not believe in a two-state solution as imposed by the UN?

“I do in the sense that the Palestinians already have a state, namely Jordan. Jordan is the Palestinian state. Hence, the two-state solution is already a reality.”

What do you think is the best approach to deal with Hamas?

“It is a waste of time to talk or negotiate with ISIL or Hamas. They are barbarians. Only the total destruction of this type of terrorist organizations is helpful.”

On Wednesday, Bram van Ojik, the leader of the Green Left Party, advocated a drastic change in the attitude of the Dutch government in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Van Ojik wants economic development of Gaza, the imposition of an arms embargo against Israel and political support for the Palestinian state.

“My view is the opposite of what the Green Left proposes. I find it insane that the Netherlands has given development money to Gaza. This is a reward for bad behavior. This money is being spent by Hamas.”

But Timmermans assures Parliament in the written consultation that no money has been given to Hamas. He mentions “strong verification procedures” to ensure that the money does not get into the hands of terrorist organizations.

“Ultimately, Hamas controls Gaza. So ultimately this money benefits Hamas.”

Is Timmermans lying when he informs Parliament in this way?

“This is a charade of the highest order. The money may not end up on the bank account of Gaza, but Hamas is the boss there. No-one can exclude that Hamas uses this money to build the tunnels. Even if this is not the case, the money goes to an area that is controlled by Hamas.”

The war in Gaza has led to reactions worldwide, and therefore also in the Netherlands. Anti-Semitic statements have been made during a number of Gaza demonstrations. Together with Jewish organizations, the Cabinet released a statement in which a firm position is taken against anti-Semitism and discrimination in the Netherlands. You have said that his statement was “worthless.”

“Indeed. It is worthless because Prime Minister Rutte and the Cabinet refuse to see the elephant in the room. It is an objective fact that all those anti-Semitic statements are made by people who adhere to Islam.”

“A statement, in which the cause of anti-Semitism is not mentioned, is without substance, makes no sense and is worthless.”

Most protesters are critical of the policies of the Israeli government. Are they also anti-Semitic?

“No. Of course you can be critical of every country. Let us be glad that in the Netherlands we have a right to demonstrate. However, bringing the Hitler salute and waving ISIL flags is something which should not be permitted.”

“We have to deal in a different way with organizations like ISIL that aim to destroy us. We have to hit them hard.”

In that same statement, the Cabinet writes that it will act hard against anti-Semitic and discriminatory statements made during demonstrations. Those who make such statements will have to deal with the public prosecutor and the judiciary. What else can the government do?

“I think that demonstrations by types like ISIL should not be allowed in the Netherlands.”

But the Cabinet says that it will act against this.

“They still allow it.”

We have seen, however, how the police acted appropriately in Amsterdam?

“Yes, fortunately in Amsterdam it was different than in The Hague for example. So it can be done.”

This morning, the newspaper The Telegraph published a full-page ad against anti-Semitism which was signed by many prominent Dutch people. You had been asked to sign the ad by Ms Voet of CIDI [a Dutch Jewish organization], but you did not find your name under the ad. Did this startle you?

“I find this incomprehensible. On Tuesday, I got a letter from Ms Voet. I responded within half an hour. Of course I was prepared to sign. Afterwards, I did not hear from her again.”

So you were surprised when you opened the paper this morning?

“Yes, I was looking for my name and I did not find it. I thought ‘what is this…’.”

According to Ms Voet you were removed from the list because you had called the joint statement of the Cabinet and the Jewish organizations “worthless.”

“She could have called me to explain the situation. By removing me because of my criticism, Esther Voet disqualifies herself as someone who fights anti-Semitism and defends the interests of the Jewish community in the Netherlands. It is as if she does not accept criticism. I regret this, because I would have liked to sign the statement against anti-Semitism.”

CIDI and the Central Jewish Board (CJO) distanced themselves from you and the PVV after your calls for fewer Moroccans and your flirting with European political parties with an anti-Semitic past. Does that bother you?

“They may pretend this, but here is the reason why this is not true: It is CIDI which asked me to sign the ad. I did not call to ask ‘May I join.’ If I respond positively to a request within half an hour, it is inappropriate to remove my name without explanation. Then they should not have asked me.”

What do you think of the fact that representatives of the Jewish community distance themselves from you?

“I have very many friends in the Jewish community. I know that I have the support of many of them. CIDI does not speak on behalf of all Jews in the Netherlands. CIDI is also not why I take my positions.”

“My mission is not about CIDI, but to preserve the Netherlands, where the Judeo-Christian, humanistic culture is currently being threatened by Islamization, as a free Western country.”

“Apparently Ms Voet does not want me to link Islam to anti-Semitism, but look at what Hamas is doing in Gaza, look at what ISIL does with Christians in Iraq. They all get their turn.”

“I do not understand that someone who claims to represent the interests of the Jewish community does not see this. If Islam takes over power here, the Jews will be the first to feel it.”

So you do not feel that you have lost the goodwill of the Jewish community in the Netherlands?

“In my opinion that is only a minor thing. On the contrary, there is still a very warm support, both in the Netherlands and internationally.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.