Posted on May 6, 2015

Texas Shooting: Isil Claims Attack as FBI Comes Under Scrutiny for Failing to Stop Suspect

Telegraph, May 5, 2015

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has claimed responsibility via its official radio station for the attack on an anti-Muslim event in Texas over the weekend showcasing cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed.

“Two of the soldiers of the caliphate executed an attack on an art exhibit in Garland, Texas, and this exhibit was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Mohammed,” the jihadist group said on Tuesday.

“We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things,” the group announced.

It was the first time Isil claimed to have carried out an attack in the US.

The FBI was under increased scrutiny last night as it emerged the agency has closely monitored Elton Simpson–one of the men suspected of the shootings–since 2006, but failed to prevent the Isil-linked attack.

Agents had recorded the young man from Phoenix talking about fighting non-believers for Allah, about plans to travel to South Africa and link up with “brothers” in Somalia, and about using school as a cover story for travelling overseas.

Simpson was arrested in 2010, one day before authorities say he planned to leave for South Africa. But despite more than 1,500 hours of recorded conversations, the government prosecuted him on only one minor charge–lying to a federal agent. Years spent investigating Simpson for terrorism ties resulted in three years of probation and $600 (£400) in fines and court fees.

Then, on Sunday, two men whom authorities identified as Simpson and Nadir Soofi opened fire in a Dallas suburb on an unarmed security officer stationed outside the contest.


Joe Harn, Garland police spokesman, said on Monday that a single Garland police officer subdued the two gunmen but that after his initial shots, Swat officers nearby also fired at the two men.


Simpson, described as quiet and devout, had been on the radar of law enforcement because of his social media presence, but authorities did not have an indication that he was plotting an attack, said one federal official familiar with the investigation. {snip}


A convert to Islam, Simpson first attracted the FBI’s attention in 2006 because of his ties to Hassan Abu Jihaad, a former US Navy sailor who had been arrested in Phoenix and was ultimately convicted of terrorism-related charges, according to court records. Jihaad was accused of leaking details about his ship’s movements to operators of a website in London that openly espoused violent jihad against the US.

In the autumn of that year, the FBI asked one of its informants, Dabla Deng, a Sudanese immigrant, to befriend Simpson and ask for advice about Islam. Mr Deng had been working as an FBI informant since 2005 and was instructed to tell Simpson he was a recent convert to the religion.

Over the next few years, Mr Deng would tape his conversations with Simpson with a hidden recording device accumulating more than 1,500 hours of conversations, according to court records.


Less was known about Soofi, who appeared to have never been prosecuted in federal court, according to a search of court records.

Sharon Soofi, his mother, who now lives in a small town southwest of Houston, told The Dallas Morning News that she had no idea that he would turn to violence.

She said her son was “raised in a normal American fashion” and “was very politically involved with the Middle East. Just aware of what’s going on.”

“I don’t know if something snapped,” she said.