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 investigation, ABC 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.