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):
The suspect had tweeted that he had been arrested in 2010. His Twitter account has been deactivated, but I'm trying to find the screenshot of the tweet I made last night. I'll post here when I find it.
From a U.S.-based jihadist supporter:
UPDATE: ABC has posted a picture of Simpson
Here's their report this morning:
Here is the court decision in that prior 2010 case:
UPDATE #2: Dallas Morning News adds more details, including his known association with Al-Qaeda traitor Hassan Abu Jihad:
Simpson told agents in 2010 that he planned to study Islam at a madrassa in South Africa, records show. He said he would be gone for five years and didn’t have “firm plans” for what he would do after his studies.
But in a 2007 recorded conversation, Simpson spoke about fighting non believers for Allah. He also spoke about Afghanistan and Iraq and “Jewish oppression of Muslims.” And he criticized those who “don’t believe that they should be over there fighting.”
The FBI also got him on tape in 2009 speaking to someone about his plans.
“It’s time to go to Somalia, brother,” he said. “We know plenty of brothers from Somalia…I’m telling you, man. We gonna make it to the battlefield, akee, it’s time to roll.”
Simpson said non believers, known as “kuffar,” are “fighting against us because they don’t want us to establish sharia,” records show.
And he told an associate that he could sell his car to finance a trip overseas to fight.
“That’s a plane ticket right there. Bye-bye America,” Simpson said.
Simpson in 2009 also told someone he sent a link to someone else about “how they gonna use the car with bombs on it.” He said he was going to school at the time but that it was “just a front.” [...]
When FBI agents visited Simpson in 2010, he asked them about an acquaintance, Hassan Abu Jihad, who was appealing his 2008 federal conviction in Connecticut for providing material support to terrorists.
Abu Jihad also was found guilty of “communicating national security information to persons not entitled to receive it,” records show. He was sentenced in 2009 to 10 years in federal prison. Simpson told agents he was concerned about Abu Jihad’s future.
Simpson said he knew Abu Jihad when the man lived in Phoenix previously. Abu Jihad was arrested in Phoenix in 2007.
UPDATE #3: The 2nd shooter has been identified as Elton Simpson's roommate, Nadir Soofi: