Nadir Hamid Soofi has been named as one of the gunmen, along with Elton Simpson, in the Garland Prophet Muhammad Art Contest shooting. The attack happened just outside of Dallas on the night of May 3. The two jihadists were shot dead by a Garland police officer outside of the Curtis Culwell Center and prevented from causing a massacre. One cop was shot in the leg during the exchange of gunfire.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Duo Tweeted Using the Hashtag ‘#TexasAttack’ Minutes Before the Shooting
Ominous tweets came from an account believed to be related to the attacks. The account, which has now been deleted, was named “Shariah is Light.” The last message that came from the account which read “May Allah accept us as mujahideen.” The Mujahideen is a reference to the Islamic guerilla fighters.
WFAA reports that the tweets were actually sent by Elton Simpson. Prior to the attack, another tweet from that account said “The knives have been sharpened, soon we will come to your streets with death and slaughter.” You can view a cached version of the Twitter account here.
2. He Owned a Carpet Cleaning Business in Phoenix
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 himself a “newbie to the carpet cleaning industry.”
3. They Were Roommates in Phoenix
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.
4. News of the Attacks Brought ISIS Supporters Out on Twitter
As news of the attacks spread, ISIS supporters, using “#TexasAttack,” began spreading propaganda online. One supporter, Abu Hussain AlBritani, tweeted “2 of our brothers just opened fire at the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) art exhibition in texas” and “They Thought They Was Safe In Texas From The Soldiers of The Islamic State.” According to SITE Intel, on subsequent tweets through his now-deleted account, AlBritani wrote:
If there is no check on the freedom of your speech, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions #GarlandShooting #TexasAttack
The 2 Brothers attained shahdah in texas! O Kuffar know that death is better than living humiliated! Allahu Akbar !!! #garlandshooting
The brothers in texas may have had no experience in shooting but they was quick to defend the honor of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w !
The first suspect identified after the attack, Elton Simpson, was sentenced to probation after a terror investigation in 2010, reports ABC News. In that incident, Simpson was found guilty of lying to federal agents about plans to travel to Africa. The judge in the case ruled that there was not enough evidence to suggest that he going to join a terrorist group.
5. Those Inside the Culwell Center Were Secured in a Room & Sang Patriotic Songs as the Attack Unfolded
ABC News reports that as the gunshots erupted outside the event, participants of the draw Muhammad competition, were ushered into a secure room. Inside, the network says the group “sang patriotic songs” while the drama unfolded. Among the attendees was controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
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