Those who knew slain Garland terrorist and jihadi aspirant Elton Simpson profess surprise that he tried to perpetrate a mass murder, including people who really ought to know better. Take his former lawyer, for example, in a passage quoted from Fox News affiliate KSAZ in Simpson’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona:
“I always thought of him as very harmless,” said Kristina Sutton, Simpson’s former attorney.
Kristina Sutton was his attorney in the federal case. She says he was a devout Muslim, but the terrorist charges were exaggerated.
“He was very devout, he would often leave meetings to go pray, he wouldn’t shake my hand as part of his faith. He actively tried to convert me and my staff to Islam,” she said.
Ultimately a judge did not find enough evidence to charge Simpson with terrorism.
To be sure, not every sternly devout no-handshakes Muslim is a potential terrorist. But the reason Simpson had time to take a crack at converting Sutton and her entire staff to Islam is that she represented him in a case where he told FBI informants he was hot to sign up for jihad and join the murderous al-Shabaab gang on the battlefield of Somalia. He is on tape telling the informant, “It’s time to go to Somalia, brother. It’s time. I’m tellin you man, we gonna make it to the battlefield. It’s time to roll.”
The lawyer who helped him beat those charges is either blinded by political correctness, worried that she’ll be blamed for putting him on the street to bring jihad to Texas, or unbelievably naive. It is very unfortunate that Simpson decided to enforce sharia law on the infidel by gunning a few hundred of them down at a school, but it is not exactly a stunning bolt-from-the-blue surprise completely inconsistent with his past history.
The KSAZ report says all of Simpson’s family members and old friends “saw no indication that Simpson had become, or would become a religious extremist.”
Really? The FBI monitors this “lone wolf” for years, has little trouble getting his jihad plans on tape … and nobody who knew him intimately saw anything except a “good kid” and “great person” who “wouldn’t harm a fly,” as one friend who admittedly hadn’t seen him in many years described Simpson?
It is understandable for a high school basketball teammate who fell out of touch with his old pal to say that. It is grim evidence of just how swiftly young men who convert to Islam can be radicalized by terrorist recruiters.
That very much includes law-abiding Muslims of good will who fear young converts might have been radicalized. Why do we keep finding out these “lone wolf” jihadis have been on law enforcement radar screens for ages before launching their attacks? How many times must we suffer from ritual declarations of surprise by everyone who doesn’t want to be held responsible for indulging Islamist radicalization? Would our friends on the Left kindly take a break from pointing fingers and howling at Pamela Geller, Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style, and help us keep an eye out for the people who are trying to kill us?
The Department of Homeland Security has a slogan: If you see something, say something. We’ve grown so blind from political correctness and misplaced hypersensitivity that it feels like some dimly remembered slogan off a faded World War 2 poster, but it’s actually very good advice.