Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of 'Known Wolf' Terrorism, Suspect ID'd as Elton Simpson of Phoenix
BE SURE TO SEE UPDATES BELOW. 2nd shooter identified as Nadir Soofi, see UPDATE #3
The name of one of the suspects in last night's shootout outside a Dallas-area free speech event has been released.
ABC News 13 in Phoenix has ID'd Elton Simpson as the individual who posted a message with #texasattack to his Twitter account just before the shooting.
A controversial cartoon contest in north Texas yesterday depicting the prophet Mohammed ended in deadly gunfire.
ABC News can confirm that one of the suspects is Elton Simpson, an Arizona man who was previously the subject of a terror investigation. He's from Phoenix and television stations in Phoenix are reporting the second shooter was Simpson's roommate. We're still waiting on his name.
The FBI believes Simpson sent out a tweet using the hashtag #texasattack about a half hour before shooting.
ABC News adds that police have been executing search warrants at Simpson's home in Phoenix overnight.
It appears that this attack is yet another case of what I have termed "known wolf" syndrome, when the suspect is already known to law enforcement and intelligence. Virtually every terror attack in the West over the past year has been by one of these "known wolf" suspects.
The Dallas Morning News reports:
Simpson was well known to the FBI, ABC News reported. Five years ago he was convicted for lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Africa, "but a judge ruled the government did not adequately prove he was going to join a terror group there."
Simpson was apparently known to the FBI since 2006:
On January 13, 2010, a grand jury indicted Defendant Elton Simpson for knowingly and willfully making a materially false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). The indictment also charged that the statement involved international and domestic terrorism. The indictment specified that on or about January 7, 2010, the Defendant falsely stated to special agents of the FBI that he had not discussed traveling to Somalia, when in fact he had discussed with others traveling to Somalia for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad. The Government is charging Mr. Simpson with making a false statement in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1001. The Government is also charging that the false statement involves international or domestic terrorism as defined under section 2331, so that he is eligible for a sentence enhancement pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1001. [...]
… The problem … is that the Government has not established with the requisite level of proof, that the Defendant’s potential travel to Somalia (and his false statement about his discussions regarding his travels) was sufficiently “related” to international terrorism. Rather, the Government missed several steps to meeting its burden for establishing this charge. As a result, the Court cannot find the Defendant eligible for the sentence enhancement.
According to ABC News, Simpson was convicted of lying to the FBI, but was placed on probation and never went to prison.
I've been chronicling these recent "Known Wolf" terrorism cases here at PJ Media:
Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure
Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome
This was also the subject of a Capitol Hill briefing I gave back in late January sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET):