Counter-terrorism authorities are naturally interested in whatever connections Garland shooters Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi might have had with international terrorist organizations — such as ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the attack on Pamela Geller’s Mohammed Art Exhibit. Social-media activity by the slain terrorists is being carefully examined.
“A law enforcement official explained that the attack does not appear to be a clear cut case of a lone wolf inspired to act or a pure case of someone directed by others to act,” CNN reports. “Rather, the official said, it appears to be something in between.”
The “lone wolf” model of jihad has individuals acting on behalf of terrorist organizations, or Islamist fascism in general, without receiving direct orders from terrorist commanders. ISIS frequently issues calls for lone wolves to carry out attacks in Europe and America.
Simpson, however, was apparently involved in two-way Internet communication with ISIS operatives, using the Twitter social media platform. This could actually refute the lone-wolf model more thoroughly than CNN suggests… depending on whether Simpson’s contacts explicitly ordered or approved the thwarted attack on Garland.
Simpson’s Twitter pals are Junaid Hussain, a British hacker believed to be working for ISIS, and Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, an American recruited by the Somali terror gang al-Shabaab in 2008.
Simpson encouraged his disturbingly healthy Twitter following (over a thousand people, according to CNN) to follow Junaid Hussain, in one of his final Tweets before launching the attack in Texas.
Hussain, in turn, popped off a celebratory Tweet when he heard news of the attack, apparently before receiving word that a traffic cop working security for the event put both of the armored, heavily-armed jihadis down in the street with head shots: “Allahu Akbar!!!!! 2 of our brothers just opened fire at the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) art exhibition in texas! #TexasAttack.”
Hassan, posting under an alias, is believed to have called for an attack on the Garland event a week before the attacker occurred.
British hacker Hussain seems to be held as the greater threat by U.S. authorities — he’s “a tech-savvy public face,” as one official told CNN, with leadership skills and a solid understanding of Western media. He is believed to be a co-founder of the “CyberCaliphate” hacking group, with ties to its hijack of the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter account.
As for al-Shabaab recruit Hassan, his social media interaction with Simpson is highly significant because Simpson tried to join al-Shabaab at around the same time Hassan was recruited.
Simpson appears to have alerted Hassan to the Garland event via Twitter… even including a link to a story about it from Breitbart News. The two shared praise for the Islamist killers who perpetrated the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, saying “If only we had men like these brothers in the #States, our beloved Muhammad would not have been drawn.”