ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” the US, UK and Australia

S-Flames-of-War-Propaganda-Video-02May 9, 2015 / ISIS Study Group /

Well, we’ve come full-circle. On 08 MAR 15 we came out with an article on the Islamic State (IS) establishing a foreign fighter unit known as the “Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion” that consists of English-speakers (“The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West”). We also discussed how that unit was tasked with getting the personnel within the ranks enough experience to be sent back to their countries of origin within the next 4-5 months. The specific countries our sources said that would be most at risk were the US, UK and Australia. The Successful attack in Kabul, Afghanistan and failed ANZAC Day plot in Melbourne, Australia (check out “Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot” for more details) were merely the opening shots for bringing the “Flames of War” to the west. Recently, a cell attacked a Muhammad Cartoon contest being hosted by Pam Gellar in Garland, Texas. IS claimed responsibility for the attack. We assess that none of this is a “coincidence,” and that these attack plots are part of a much larger campaign to take the fight to the west. Furthermore, we suspect that IS-linked cells will attempt to execute attacks in the US within the next 3-4 days with additional attacks being launched in the UK and Australia – yes, we’ve been saying that for a few months now that we would be seeing this around this time of year. More importantly, we’re seeing American and Aussie foreign fighters synching up their OPs for a coordinated effort – the largest projection of IS terror on the international stage.

The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5388

Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6339

FBI Alerted Garland Police About Elton Simpson Hours Before Shooting
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-says-it-alerted-garland-police-about-elton-simpson-n355526

Junaid Hussein Source: Central News

Junaid Hussein
Source: Central News

The US Department of Defense has announced that military installations are on “alert” for potential attacks while the professionally-bankrupt US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that there isn’t a “specific threat” made to any particular installation. DHS’ statement isn’t completely accurate according to our sources. The individual coordinating the US OPs is Syria-based UK national Junaid Hussein, and he’s reported to have been researching US military installations in Colorado and Ohio, so despite what DHS is saying IS appears to be focusing on a base in one of those two states. Hussein first appeared on the US government’s radar when it was revealed that he was responsible for establishing IS’ cyber-warfare capability. Although most people know him as the leader of the “Cyber Caliphate,” he’s also a prominent recruiter who assisted Australian foreign fighter Neil Prakash aka “Abu Khalid al-Cambodi” in the establishment of the Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion. Hussein has previously run afoul of the British government and previously jailed in 2012.

ISIS activity prompts threat level increase at bases
http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/08/politics/isis-activity-prompts-threat-level-increase-at-bases/

Junaid Hussain: CyberCaliphate Leader And ISIS Member Was Behind CENTCOM Hack, Report Says
http://www.ibtimes.com/junaid-hussain-cybercaliphate-leader-isis-member-was-behind-centcom-hack-report-says-1782870

Hacker who stole Tony Blair’s details and bombarded anti-terror hotline with prank calls is jailed and claims his crime was no worse than those committed by Bullingdon members

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2179969/Hacker-stole-Tony-Blair-s-details-bombarded-anti-terror-hotline-prank-calls-jailed-claims-crime-worse-committed-Bullingdon-members.html

cambodi

Cambodia
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Additionally, Hussein has been passing down guidance to cells operating in western countries on target selection and giving them advice on proper OPSEC procedures. Much of this is being done on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. We find it rather amusing that DHS and the American mainstream media is just now starting to notice how heavily saturated our nation is with IS propaganda. We wrote about this in our article titled, “al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists” that was posted on 25 OCT 15. These cells are domestic in nature in that none of the personnel have traveled to Syria. However, these cells and lone wolves are only the first phase of this campaign as the Syria returnees are expected to start returning to their home countries by the end of the month. In fact, we’ve been hearing that some may have already started to trickle in. This presents a big problem in that these personnel returned with the knowledge and connections to set up their own networks and attack cells – and they will be traveling with western passports that won’t draw as much attention as someone with a Saudi or Pakistani passport.

al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2523

The current attack plans appear to be a combination of IED attacks and shootings like what we saw in Garland or even the scenario we discussed last summer in “ISIS: Target America.” We suspect that they may opt to go with the pressure cooker IED design like the one used in the Boston Bombing. IS also took note of the response to he attack by local law enforcement and armed civilians and aren’t likely to make the same mistake. Instead, they appear to be looking at hitting soft targets in American cities in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles in addition to targeting military installations in Colorado and Ohio. Regarding the targeting of military installations on American soil, we assess that individual service members will also be targeted. Hussein and associate Riyad Khan were the guys who released the addresses, identities and photographs of 100 US military personnel in late-MAR that we covered in “Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information.” This is yet another example of the coordination that’s taking place between Cambodia and Hussein. If you recall, the ANZAC Day plot called for the targeting of an individual police officer in the same manner as the murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby. That is not a coincidence. Hussein and Cambodia are working together.

Australian listed in Isis guidebook as go-to man for recruits
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/07/australian-listed-in-isis-guidebook-as-go-to-man-for-recruits

ISIS: Target America
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1196

Target America: Hunting the US Military
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2061

Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5729

hack

Some of the identities exposed by Hussein and Khan
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Another example of the Hussein-Cambodi campaign can be seen through a militant we’ve identified as Shawn Parson, a Trinidian IS member who has maintained regular contact with Cambodi over the past few months. He’s been making several posts about “plotting revenge” for the arrest of IS sympathizer Keonna Thomas and has shown a preference for targeting US government officials. The threats were made through his Twitter account (@Amriki_Irhabi) but it was taken down. The threats he’s been making appear to be connected to the ongoing threat stream as he had made specific references to US Air Force installations located in Colorado prior to his first account being taken down. When one of our staff came across him through their network analysis, we came across posts that implied that he had prior knowledge of the shootings. We suspect he was privy to this information through his relationship with Cambodi. In fact there’s unconfirmed reporting that Parson was in a photograph with Cambodi that was published in issue 8 of Dabiq Magazine. We hope somebody with some common sense in DHS has already put two and two together – but we’re not holding our breath.

Philadelphia Woman Joins ISIS: How Keonna Thomas’ Alleged Plans To Connect With The Islamic State Group Unraveled
http://www.ibtimes.com/philadelphia-woman-joins-isis-how-keonna-thomas-alleged-plans-connect-islamic-state-1869434

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 3.05.40 PM

Parson’s new Twitter account @Irhabi_IS_187 (Note that he’s also following the UK’s Pied Piper of Jihad Anjem Choudray – which can be seen on the bottom right part of this screen shot)
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Shortly after setting up the new account more threats began to be posted. He’s quite the charmer, isn’t he?
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 10.03.26 AM

The guy on the right is allegedly Parson – we’re still working to confirm/deny
Source: Dabiq Magazine issue 8

Meanwhile in Australia, the Australian security forces continue to drop the hammer on IS cells in the country with another series of raids targeting safe-houses in Melbourne and Sydney. The following individuals were paid a visit by the Australian Federal Police (AFP):

Melbourne:
Muhammad Hasan Kollab – The AFP confiscated material that was being used to produce IEDs.
Yassir Ali Bakhit

Sydney:
Ahmed Hussein (no relation to Junaid Hussein)
Isaac Majoub – This individual has been under investigation since November 14 and is described as a “young kid” between 15-17 yrs of age.

These individuals were planning to conduct attacks the Mother’s Day weekend. We have identified the Sydney Opera House as one of the primary targets for this series of attacks. Although the media reports are saying that its uncertain if this is connected to the failed ANZAC Day pot, we can assure you it is. Furthermore, All four individuals were in direct contact with Cambodi, who – along with close associate Muhammad Junaid Thorne – were overseeing that particular operation. We suspect that Thorne was also involved with the Mother’s Day plot. According to our sources in the country, this operation was within hours of being put into the execution phase. Our Aussie allies have once again demonstrated that they’re not professionally bankrupt like their American counterparts at DHS and ensured the safety of the civilian population. The Australian threat appears to have been blunted, for now. However, a key aspect of this strategy is to overwhelm western security forces to where something “falls through the cracks.” In fact With multiple threat streams spanning across multiple countries we see the scenario we discussed in the first installment of our Target America series on an international scale. The month of MAY is only the start with Syria returnees affiliated with the Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion beginning to redeploy back to their home countries. More will begin returning in JUN, at which time we can expect to see some of these personnel embedding themselves with the local cells comprised of individuals who didn’t go to Syria themselves. Hussein and Cambodi have been the main points of contact for linking these cells up with Syria vets. The Australian government “gets it,” but the US and British governments are still plagued with political correctness. In the case of the US, incompetence is another major factor that got us to the current situation. We assess that DHS will continue their reactionary posture which increases the likelihood of another IS attack. Not bad for the “JV Team,” huh?

Melbourne anti-terrorism raids: Police uncover explosive devices at Greenvale house in city’s north
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/victorian-police-uncover-explosives-during-anti-terrorism-raids/6456092

Police conduct anti-terror raid in Melbourne suburb
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-32641549

‘Closest call yet': Police say tip-off sparked Melbourne raids which found alleged improvised explosive devices
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/05/08/15/11/police-conduct-raids-in-melbourne-s-northern-suburbs

Why There Are No ISIS ‘Lone Wolves’

Lone-Wolf-Terrorists1
PJ Media, By Bridget Johnson, On May 7, 2015:

An ISIS call-to-arms posted online nearly two weeks ago mocked the term that the West uses for the terror group’s members abroad — a big picture of a lone, grey wolf accompanied the text.

“Jihad is going through various stages to reach the state of empowerment and the rule of the land, as it does our brothers in the land of the caliphate,” said the call for jihadists in Egypt to activate.

“Wolves,” the message said, are “one of the first jihad work stages” and simply indicates “individual small cells” who have a greater chance of taking the enemy by surprise or taking down his compatriots. They don’t need “strength or muscle, huge experience in jihad work” and “each wolf chooses what suits him and what fits his goal and location of the implementation of the action.”

“Small firewood is what ignites huge and large flames… wolves will increase their expertise and will move with the time and expertise to the largest operations and to expand and diversify the weapon used.”

A “lone wolf” would be a jihadist taking it upon himself with no direct outside involvement — be it direction or support — to commit an attack. But recent attacks have shown government’s desire to rush to “lone wolf” judgment, be it to placate a nervous public, cover intelligence about wider plots or networks, or just save face for counter-terrorism efforts that let one slip through the cracks.

Government officials use the less alarming terminology that the U.S. suffered an attack from disaffected loners rather than the U.S. suffered an ISIS attack.

“There are a lot of challenges associated with trying to root out and prevent essentially lone wolf attacks,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “And again, based on what we know now, and there’s still a lot more that we have to learn, this is consistent with what has previously been described as a — a lone wolf attack, that essentially you have two individuals that don’t appear to be part of a broader conspiracy, and identifying those individuals and keeping tabs on them is difficult work.”

“Lone wolf” also disassociates the assailant from the broader ideological movement, painting the attacker as a disaffected, impressionable individual who is lured to a life of crime by a magazine, video or tweets.

“We continue to be keenly aware and vigilant about the threat that is posed by a so-called lone wolf, where you have an individual who is disaffected and is vulnerable to some of the kind of recruitment efforts that we see ISIL employ through social media,” Earnest said Tuesday.

Not only had Garland, Texas, shooter Elton Simpson been on the FBI’s radar for years after lying about plans to go join jihad in Somalia, but he distributed ISIS propaganda via social media. Simpson announced the Texas attack less than half an hour before shots were fired outside of the Muhammad cartoon contest, and jihadists who quickly tweeted about the attack expressed no surprise. The other shooter, Nadir Soofi, was Simpson’s roommate in Phoenix — so at what point do roommates who plan and conduct attacks graduate from “lone wolves” to a cell?

Both men were in their 30s and born in the United States. They had jobs and attended the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Soofi left behind a young son.

ISIS included the attack in its daily report of operations distributed to its fighters. “Two soldiers of the Khilafah carried out an assault on a convention in Garland, Texas… We say to the America, the defender of the cross, what’s coming will be even worse.”

ISIS wants to populate the caliphate, no question about it. They’ve put out the call for Muslims to contribute in ways that don’t involve fighting but are necessary for civic infrastructure, from teachers to tech specialists. A recent video about the Islamic State Health Service featured an Australian doctor — a white man with a barely-there beard — treating babies and talking about his decision to come to the Islamic State.

A 50-page handbook released earlier this year detailed tips for jihadists wanting to come to the Islamic State, from what to pack to contacts who would try to smuggle them across the Turkish border. But it acknowledged that things are getting tougher for those who want to immigrate: “Lately things have got harder at the Turkish border, so Islamic State members often meet new people in Turkey hotels and smuggle them across the border,” though the safehouses are “usually males only” and can only be accessed with “a paper signed by an existing member to show he is trustworthy.”

A month ago, an ISIS cyber unit threatened Turkey with hacking attacks if it didn’t stop impeding the flow of foreign fighters into the Islamic State. Turkey has been under intense international pressure to crack down on the flow of goods and people across the 500-mile border.

So while ISIS encourages its followers to make hijrah to the caliphate, it also encourages its followers to be part of the caliphate wherever they may be. This isn’t just because of the physical difficulties of getting to the Islamic State — ISIS regularly distributes “if I did it, so can you” stories from other jihadists who made the trip — but because of ISIS’s overall strategy.

Consider it like crowd-funding for jihadists: encouraging followers to be part of the cause however they can, whatever they can contribute, wherever they can.

They plan on building their “army” not in one centralized location straddling Iraq and Syria, but in grass-roots pockets around the globe to grow and converge upon major targets. The ISIS e-book detailing how the terror group plans to sack Rome describes drawing not just from Muslim communities across Europe but from anti-Israel activists, anarchists and ethnic minority military defections.

These cells won’t need complicated support from an ISIS HQ to plan and coordinate attacks, the book stresses, because of the open-source support for terrorists out there today. “All the Islamic groups use Google Earth today to plan their attacks…. Usually only powerful countries had power to satellite technology, now everyone can use it for free.”

Another e-book this year, The Islamic State, claims self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi does not micromanage his commanders, which gives them “a lot of flexibility and makes the Islamic State harder to defeat” unlike “conventional national armies who have a long chain of command and a common pattern in style of war.”

Their media structure is so diffuse — from “professionally edited videos” and scores of social media accounts (including coordinated hashtags) to e-books and magazines — because “by not having a website, no one can hack it and claim an online victory.”

“Each province has its own responsibility in creating its own videos and social media accounts to share its successes. By decentralising everything from the core leadership, even if a province fails online or offline, the leadership and overall Khilafah (Caliphate) leadership project is still safe and can grow elsewhere.”

The book notes that social media is its own kind of jihad. “What the Islamic State has done for Islam online: Just do a quick search for the word: ‘Islam’ on youtube: What we see is that even though Muslims have been trying to tell people about Islam for the past 20yrs, there have been more searches for ‘Islamic State’ on youtube in the past 3yrs than there have been for ‘Islam’ since youtube has ever existed.”

ISIS has turned skirting around Twitter suspensions into an art form; one jihadist on the social media site announced this week his 32nd comeback under a different Twitter handle, and jihadists whose accounts are still active spread the word about the new account of a booted member.

And if lone wolves are branded so because they haven’t received formal training in terrorist camps, consider that ISIS encourages self-training even for members located in the Middle East. A recent e-book on how the terrorists plan to seize Israel gives Krav Maga tips and suggests using “open-source technology” such as 3-D printers and reverse engineering to mass produce replicas of captured Israeli weapons. Like other ISIS materials, the book stresses that cyber jihadists are valuable recruits who can operate anywhere.

A guide for jihadists in the West issued in late March gives instructions on using secure browsers, watching Bourne films, bomb-making, physical training at home, practicing with Nerf or paintball guns, and moving up to “primitive weapons” such as crossbows. “Playing games like Call of Duty gives you knowledge of techniques used in warfare on different terrains.”

And ISIS jihadists in the West shouldn’t call themselves lone wolves, but an ISIS “special services secret agent.”

They’re encouraged to take advantage of symbolic dates for attacks, to target places like synagogues and gas pipelines, and embrace one- or two-man operations like in France. If they need to flee the West, they’re told to escape to “the Islamic State in Libya, or Khorasan (Waziristan in Pakistan), or in Nigeria (under Boko Haram territory)” if they can’t get to Iraq and Syria.

The ISIS strategy is to have jihadis of varying skills nestled in every corner of the globe, some with no more contact with fellow ISIS fighters than tweets.

In the wake of the Garland attack, a message online claiming to be from a Western member of ISIS noted that their cells abroad conduct another type of training you can’t do in a camp: learning from the successes and mistakes of other cells, soaking in every bit of media coverage. “We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers,” the message said, and have “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire.”

Pamela Geller, TIME Magazine: A Response to My Critics—This Is a War

Screen-Shot-2015-05-06-at-11.01.54-AMBy Pamela Geller, May 6, 2015:

The cartoon contest was needlessly provocative? No — murdering cartoonists is needlessly provocative.

It was the jihadis, not I, who made the cartoons a flash point. If we surrender on that point and stop drawing Muhammad, we’ve established a precedent of surrendering to violent Sharia enforcement, and once established, we will be made to reinforce it again and again.

Did anyone think these 2 gunmen would have lived quiet lives as peaceable and loyal Americans if we hadn’t held the contest? They would have waged jihad elsewhere, on a less protected target, and killed more people.

“Pamela Geller: A Response to My Critics—This Is a War,”  Time Magazine, May 6, 2015

NEW YORK - AUGUST 3:  Pamela Geller, author of the book The Post-American Presidency and a proponent of the proposed World Trade Center Islamic Center answers emails inside her home on August 3, 2010 in New York City. Mrs. Geller has spoke and written heavily against the center on her blog Atlas Shrugs. (Photo by Jason Andrew/Getty Images)

Some are saying I provoked this attack. But to kowtow to violent intimidation will only encourage more of it.

Sunday in Garland, Texas, a police officer was wounded in a battle that is part of a longstanding war: the war against the freedom of speech. Some people are blaming me for the Garland shooting — so I want to address that here

The shooting happened at my American Freedom Defense Initiative Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest, when two Islamic jihadists armed with rifles and explosives drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland and attempted to gain entry to our event, which was just ending. We were aware of the risk and spent thousands of dollars on security — and it paid off. The jihadis at our free speech event were not able to achieve their objective of replicating the massacre at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine last January — and to go it one better in carnage. They were not able to kill anyone. We provided enormous security, in concert with the superb Garland police department. The men who took the aspiring killers down may have saved hundreds of lives.

And make no mistake: If it weren’t for the free-speech conference, these jihadis would have struck somewhere else — a place where there was less security, like the Lindt cafe in Australia or the Hyper Cacher Kosher supermarket in Paris.

So, why are some people blaming me? They’re saying: “Well, she provoked them! She got what she deserved!” They don’t remember, or care to remember, that as the jihadis were killing the Muhammad cartoonists in Paris, their friend and accomplice was murdering Jews in a nearby kosher supermarket. Were the Jews asking for it? Did they “bait” the jihadis? Were they “provoking” them?

Are the Jews responsible for the Nazis? Are the Christians in the Middle East responsible for being persecuted by Muslims?

Drawing Muhammad offends Islamic jihadists? So does being Jewish. How much accommodation of any kind should we give to murderous savagery? To kowtow to violent intimidation will only encourage more of it.

This is a war.

Now, after the Charlie Hebdo attack, and after the Garland attack, what are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?

The attack in Garland showed that everything my colleagues and I have been warning about regarding the threat of jihad, and the ways in which it threatens our liberties, is true. Islamic law, Sharia, with its death penalty for blasphemy, today constitutes a unique threat to the freedom of speech and liberty in general.

Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced.

Putting up with being offended is essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a group will not stand for being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed, while everyone else lives in fear.

Islamic law as it’s interpreted by extremists forbids criticism of Islam, the Quran, and Muhammad. If they cannot be criticized in the United States, we are in effect accepting Islamic law as overriding the freedom of speech. This would establish Muslims as a protected class and prevent honest discussion of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence.

Some say that “hate speech” should be censored. But what constitutes “hate speech” is a subjective judgment that is unavoidably influenced by the political perspective of the one doing the judging.

Allowing this sort of censorship would mean nothing less civilizational suicide. Many in the media and academic elite assign no blame to an ideology that calls for death to blasphemers — i.e., those who criticize or offend Islam. Instead, they target and blame those who expose this fanaticism. If the cultural elites directed their barbs and attacks at the extremist doctrine of jihad, the world would be a vastly safer place.

You can try to avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. The shootings in Garland, Paris, and Copenhagen targeting defenders of free speech, and the raging jihad across the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, are the disastrous consequences of avoiding reality.

I encourage all Americans to watch the videos of the Garland event and see what Islamic supremacists wish to silence: basic, elemental free speech arguments.

But we are unbowed. Even when the venue was in lockdown and hundreds of attendees were ushered down into the auditorium, the crowd was singing the Star Spangled Banner and G-d Bless America. In the face of fear, they were staunchly and uniquely American.

To learn who rules over you, simply find out whom you cannot criticize. If the international media had run the Danish cartoons back in 2005, none of this could have happened. The jihadis wouldn’t have been able to kill everyone. But by self-censoring, the media gave the jihadis the power they have today.

We must take back our freedom.

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.

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More videos added! 21 and counting!

The Jihad At Home

284D2BE800000578-3066779-image-a-9_1430750082947ISIS strikes in Texas.

City Journal, by Judith Miller, May 6, 2015:

Fortunately, no innocent people died in the militant Islamic terror attack Sunday night in Garland, Texas, where an anti-Islamist organization was holding a Mohammed cartoon-drawing contest. The two wannabe Jihadists, armed with assault rifles and body armor, proved no match for an off-duty Texas traffic cop, who shot them dead with his pistol. But had the “homegrown” terrorists been more numerous, better trained, or better armed, the attack might have proved as deadly as that on Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine where 12 people were murdered in January. Mitchell Silber, the former director of counterterrorism research for the New York Police Department and now with K2 Intelligence, a consulting group, called the Garland strike the “first ISIS-inspired terror attack on U.S. soil.”

On Tuesday, ISIS embraced the assailants in a statement on its radio station for the Garland attack, calling them “soldiers of the caliphate,” and expressing hope that they would be granted “the highest rank of paradise” for their attack. “In another message posted on JustPasteit, an anonymous message board, the group claimed credit for the assault and warned Pamela Geller, the head of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which sponsored the cartoon contest, that it would not rest until she was dead. Boasting that it has “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states,” among them Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, and California, “ready at our word to attack,” ISIS vowed to send “all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.” The attack in Garland, the message states, was “only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah (authority or governance) in the heart of our enemy.”

While the authenticity of this message has not been independently confirmed, ISIS has frequently used that message board to publish propaganda. And terrorism analysts and law enforcement officials alike take seriously its warning that the Garland attack is only the start of a sustained effort to create havoc and fear through such strikes. According to a report published in April by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and other forms of religious, racial, and ethnic discrimination, this year has seen a dramatic spike in such attacks and plots by individuals inspired by ISIS and other militant Islamic groups. Since the beginning of the year, the report notes, 31 people in 11 U.S. states have been linked to “plots, conspiracies and other activity on behalf of foreign terrorist groups motivated by Islamic extremist ideologies.” The pace of arrests—unprecedented, notes the ADL report—is a “stark reminder of the varied extremist threats we face in this country,” warned Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. While most of the attacks and more serious plots were hatched in other countries—most notably in Canada, France, and Denmark—“the U.S. is far from immune from the global reach of Islamic extremism,” he said.

Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, said that the “alarming” number of mostly young people drawn to jihadist causes demonstrates the “impact foreign terrorist groups have on this generation of homegrown extremists,” mainly through terrorist propaganda or communication on social media. ISIS, the report says, is the largest inspirer, accounting for 29 of the 31 individuals. Terrorism may well be a family enterprise, the ADL report suggests. Nine of the 31 have family members who have also been implicated in militant Islamic activity. Just over half are believed to have traveled or planned to travel to join terror groups abroad. Eleven of the 31 were engaged in domestic terrorist plots. Five of those arrested were female, which brings the number of women linked to Islamic militancy since the start of last year to a total of 14. At least seven of those arrested were converts to Islam—a trend first identified in a controversial 2007 report coauthored by Silber and published by the NYPD.

Considerable debate is underway about what is prompting the dramatic rise in such plots and attacks. Silber says that greater decentralization is an important factor. ISIS has issued a standing order to attack Western targets, “as in Nike’s old tag line: ‘Just do it!’ ” he said. Unlike al-Qaida, whose chief of external operations had to approve a plot in advance, aspiring jihadis can interpret mere “contact with ISIS and its supporters through Twitter and other social media as an order to mobilize.” At least one of the attackers in Texas had a history with terrorist groups and causes: Elton Simpson, who lived in Arizona, was indicted in 2010 for lying to the FBI about having discussed travel to Somalia, which he denied. In 2011, he was found guilty and received three years of probation.

The explosion of social media concerns terrorism and law-enforcement terrorism experts alike. “If the current rate of arrests continues,” Segal said, “the number of Islamic-extremist-related terror arrests in 2015 will exceed that of any previous year.” The best defense against such radicalization, he and others say, is an informed community.

But educating Americans about the danger increasingly posed by homegrown radicals may not be easy. Some analysts have spent almost as much time denouncing the anti-Islamist group that sponsored the event in Texas as they have the two dead attackers. The Southern Poverty Law Center called Geller, a free-speech advocate who has been highly critical of Islam, an “anti-Muslim propagandist.” The ADL, too, has branded Geller’s group an organization that spreads “virulent anti-Muslim bigotry and conspiracy theories.” Many of the group’s critics have suggested that Geller’s event provoked the attack by offering $10,000 to the person who drew the best caricature of Mohammed, an offense to many pious Muslims who believe that the Koran forbids depictions of their prophet. While spokesmen for both the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center stress that such provocative action in no way justifies a resort to violence, both have criticized conduct by Geller as offensive to Muslims.

Geller is having none of it. Continuing to portray herself as an advocate for free speech, she denies that she is anti-Muslim, but rather “anti-jihadi” and “anti-Sharia,” a reference to Islamic law. She also defends her controversial contest in Garland, saying that it is precisely the kind of event protected by the First Amendment. “Inoffensive speech doesn’t require legal protection,” she says. “Offensive speech does.”

U.S. Officials: Texas Attack Shows Evolution of ‘Lone Wolf’ Militants

An aerial view shows the area around a car that was used the previous night by two gunmen, who were killed by police, as it is investigated by local police and the FBI in Garland, Texas / Reuters

An aerial view shows the area around a car that was used the previous night by two gunmen, who were killed by police, as it is investigated by local police and the FBI in Garland, Texas / Reuters


Washington Free Beacon,
 by Mark Hosenball and Jon Herskovitz, May 6, 2015:

WASHINGTON/AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – U.S. investigators believe two men killed after opening fire on a Texas event that offered a prize for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad represent an evolving model of “lone wolf” militants who are radicalized partly by themselves and partly through long-distance engagement with organized militants.

Although the Islamic State movement claimed credit for the Texas shooting, several U.S. officials said investigators have no evidence that either of the men shot dead by security personnel after they opened fire at the Garland, Texas, event traveled to Syria or Iraq. U.S. court documents do show that one of the men, Elton Simpson, once tried to travel to Somalia.

Officials also said that no hard evidence had emerged to demonstrate that Simpson and the second Texas shooter, Nadir Soofi, attacked the contest venue under direct orders, or encouragement, from Islamic State leaders.

However, investigators are examining exchanges on Twitter in the days before the attack between Simpson and Junaid Hussain of the Cybercaliphate, an affiliate of IS, as well as between Simpson and Mujahid Miski of Minnesota, another alleged recruiter for violent jihad.

But a U.S. official said investigators believed it was likely that IS played an “inspirational” rather than an “operational” role in the attack.

Soofi’s father has said that someone coerced his son into participating in the attack, the Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday.

In a written statement posted online by the newspaper, Azam Soofi described Nadir as “a model son.”

“Someone pushed him into this situation,” Azam Soofi said in the statement. He was not immediately available for comment.

Nadir Soofi, who was born in the United States but lived abroad as a child, was a popular schoolboy in Pakistan but struggled to adjust after moving back to the U.S. as a teen, friends who studied with him in Pakistan have said.

A U.S. intelligence official said that while the United States was concerned about Westerners traveling to Syria to fight with IS, “We also remain concerned about individuals in the West who are inspired by Isle’s propaganda and may take violent action on their own … We expect IS and its supporters to continue their efforts to incite fear and encourage lone wolf attacks around the world.”

According to a U.S. intelligence estimate seen by Reuters, U.S. agencies now believe that around 22,500 foreign fighters, including at least 4,000 Westerners, have traveled to Syria from more than 100 countries. That overall estimate, prepared in recent weeks, was 500 greater than a U.S. estimate issued in February.

However, U.S. officials questioned the authenticity of a purported Islamic State communiques that surfaced on Wednesday that claimed the group had trained 71 soldiers in 15 different U.S. states who were “ready at our word to attack any target we have desired.” The communiques said that 23 of the 71 had signed up for “missions like” the Texas attack last weekend.

(Additional reporting by Lisa Maria Garza in Texas; Editing by Eric Beech and Eric Walsh)

Also see:

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Texas Attack: It’s Not (Just) About the Cartoons

The attackers at the Texas event Elton Simpson (Left) and Nadir Soofi. Background: the Curtis Culwell Community Center where the attack took place.

The attackers at the Texas event Elton Simpson (Left) and Nadir Soofi. Background: the Curtis Culwell Community Center where the attack took place.

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, May 6, 2015:

A misleading and dangerous narrative has formed in the wake of the shooting in Garland, Texas that is music to the ears of Islamists: That there’s a causal relationship between the Mohammed drawing event and the attack on the event. Many figures in the media are conflating the target with the motivation.

The facts speak for themselves. The first perpetrator who was identified, Elton Simpson, was first investigated by the FBI all the way back in the fall of 2006. The court documents show that the FBI was tracking a suspected plot to establish a sleeper cell in Arizona and Simpson was associated with the organizer. The FBI used a presumably Muslim informant who attended Simpson’s mosque.

Simpson was recorded telling the informant about his desire to quickly enter Paradise by dying in violent jihad. He blasted Muslims who didn’t believe they are required to fight overseas and framed the conflict as one between democracy’s “man-made laws” and “Allah‘s laws.” He talked about the need to rebuild a caliphate. All of this happened roughly eight years before ISIS made “caliphate” practically a household word and before the Mohammed drawings contest was ever mentioned.

Simpson was a convert who was born in Illinois and moved to Phoenix. He was convicted in 2011 for lying to the FBI about his plan to go to Somalia and join Al-Qaeda’s affiliate there named Al-Shabaab. He was only fined $500 and sentenced to three years probation because the judge dropped the terrorism charge. Here’s an excerpt from the astounding ruling:

“It is true that the Defendant had expressed sympathy and admiration for individuals who ‘fight’ non-Muslims as well as his belief in the establishment of Shariah law, all over the world including in Somalia. What precisely was meant by ‘fighting’ whenever he discussed it, however, was not clear. Neither was what the Defendant meant when he stated he wanted to get to the ‘battlefield’ in Somalia.”

Simpson’s co-conspirator was his roommate, Nadir Soofi, who was born in Garland, Texas, where the shooting took place. He was raised there until he was three years old. He and his brother then attended a private school in Pakistan and moved back to America when their mother divorced their Pakistani father.

A friend of Soofi’s since sixth grade said he noticed his radicalization process happening over several years. He strangely switched from being a dog-lover to a dog-hater and became an “internet jihadi” while suffering from “loneliness and struggling in the U.S.” after moving back from Pakistan. His Facebook page shows he followed popular radical preachers like Khalid Yasin and Zakir Naik.

Simpson swore allegiance to the Islamic State and the pair attacked the Mohammed cartoons event but that doesn’t mean they were motivated by the event. The event was simply the most attractive target for implementing his long-held jihadist beliefs. If the event was cancelled, another target would have been chosen because the fundamental objective was murder and dying.

Simpson wasn’t even motivated by the Islamic State, per se. He had adopted the jihadist ideology years before ISIS burst onto the scene. The Islamist premises that made the Islamic State attractive is where the problem originates.

The  says Simpson was a consistent attendee and Soofi sometimes also came. Simpson was popular among the other young attendees.

As pointed out by former CIA officer Clare Lopez, the mosque’s Facebook page says it is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity whose links to Hamas earned it being called an unindicted co-conspirator designation in a terrorism-financing trial.

Lopez also notes that the mosque’s imam, Sheikh Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz Ahmad Sulaiman, is a member of a the North American Imams Federation, a group so radical that it is interconnected with the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, an anti-American Islamist organization that supports Hamas and forbids Muslims from serving food to the U.S. military.

The Federation had (or has) an official linked to the Jamaat-e-Islami group in Bangladesh; Sulaiman was even convicted as a war criminal there. Daniel Greenfeld discovered that the mosque held an event with Lauren Booth from PressTV, a propaganda outlet for the Iranian regime. Lopez also noticed that Simpson converted to Islam around the same time as he began attending the mosque, strongly indicating that his original interpretations of Islam were shaped by what was being preached at the mosque.

The mosque’s leadership has given contradictory answers about how long Simpson attended. Mosque president Usama Shami told one media outlet that he stopped showing up around 2010 when he was indicted. To another, Shami said he attended for a decade and stopped coming two or three months ago.

Shami says Simpson had a lot of friends at the mosque and never expressed radicalism. Yet, the FBI informant wasn’t previously friends with Simpson and seemed to have had no trouble getting him to talk about his radicalism, making it hard to believe that Simpson didn’t express this to his other friends at the mosque.

Shami is already positioning to redirect attention away from Islamism and onto its opponents—especially the U.S. government—as Islamists reflexively do. He seemed to suggest that the FBI provoked Simpson’s radicalization by saying that he saw a personality shift after he was indicted. Shami claims he suddenly saw an “absence of happiness” but no radicalism.

This is typical Islamist deflection. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and designated terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates, claims that the FBI is purposely radicalizing innocent Muslims. In its condemnation of the Texas shooting, it accused the terrorists and event organizers of having the same agenda.

Islamist radicalism is what breeds Islamist terrorism, even if some non-violent Islamist radicals disagree with terrorism. In order for someone to join the Islamic State, he or she must first have the extreme beliefs of sharia governance and rebuilding the caliphate. In order for someone to join Hamas, he must first be anti-Semitic. And for someone to attack people drawing Mohammed, he must believe that critics of Mohammed deserve death.

The media’s focus on the Mohammed drawings contest misses the mark. Whether or not one agrees with holding the event is irrelevant as to why this attack happened. It happened because of the desire to find a target; not because of the target itself.

Every second the media spends implying a casual relationship between the event and the attack is a second wasted.

Watch Clarion’s Ryan Mauro’s interview about the attack on Fox News:

Also see:

Connecting the dots to the Texas gunmen

llustration on the Islamic Sharia roots of the Garland Texas terrorists by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Time Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/5/clare-lopez-connecting-the-dots-to-the-texas-gunme/#ixzz3ZMDc05Cu  Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

llustration on the Islamic Sharia roots of the Garland Texas terrorists by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Time

Their Phoenix mosque maintains Shariah-compliant support for jihad

– – Tuesday, May 5, 2015:

Both gunmen identified in the May 3 attack against the “Draw Muhammad” event at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, attended the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, according to news reports. Elton Simpson and his roommate, Nadir Soofi, both were known to mosque leadership dating from 2006, although Usama Shami, chairman of the mosque’s board of trustees, claimed they stopped attending recently.

Interestingly, the imam at the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP) is Sheikh Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz Ahmad Sulaiman, one of the so-called “flying imams,” who filed suit in March 2007 against US Airways officials for allegedly showing discrimination in removing them from a flight after the imams’ suspicious behavior raised alarm among crew and passengers. That behavior included loud praying at the gate area prior to boarding, refusal to sit in assigned seats, requests for seat belt extensions that were unnecessary and unused, and travel on one-way tickets with no checked baggage.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which was demonstrated in federal District Court to be affiliated with Hamas (the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a designated terrorist organization as listed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), and its attorney, Omar Mohammedi, a former president of CAIR’s New York chapter, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the six imams, including Imam Sulaiman.

The Egyptian-born Imam Sulaiman has served since 2002 as the imam at the ICCP, which was founded in 1982 and received its tax-exempt 501(c)3 status as a religious establishment. The ICCP website openly identifies the mosque as Shariah-compliant, with reference on its donations page to paying the “zakat,” an obligatory annual tax for all Muslims that is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and of which one-eighth must go to support jihad. According to its website, the ICCP’s property is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). The trust is yet another Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, as confirmed in a 2009 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division, which identified the trust as a Hamas associate.

Imam Sulaiman is a member of the Washington, D.C.-based North American Imams Federation, whose board of trustees include the Jordanian-born Imam Omar Shahin (another of the so-called “Flying Imams” and former imam of the Islamic Center of Tucson, Ariz.) and Imam Siraj Wahhaj, whose name appeared on a U.S. government list of unindicted co-conspirators for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Imam Sulaiman is a 1992 graduate of the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, where he received his doctorate with a specialization in the hadith, the accounts of the life and deeds of Islam’s founder, Muhammad. He memorized the Koran at the age of 11 and overall, has spent some 33 years in the study of Islam. Given this background, Imam Sulaiman is a very senior cleric, whose authority projects influence in the Phoenix area. Unfortunately, in April 2004, when Zuhdi Jasser, the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, organized a Muslim Rally Against Terrorism, Imam Sulaiman and other imam members of the Valley Council of Imams refused to lend their support because they refused to condemn terrorism in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Although not yet confirmed, it’s likely that the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix was the mosque where Texas gunman Elton Simpson, born in 1991 in Illinois before moving to Phoenix, was converted to Islam, reportedly while attending high school, 2005-09. It was, however, about 2006 when he began discussing the Muslim’s obligation to engage in jihad in telephone conversations recorded by the FBI. Due to the court’s apparent ignorance of the fact that the only kind of jihad discussed anywhere in Islamic Law is “war against non-Muslims,” the government failed to convict him of anything beyond making a false statement about his intention to go to Somalia to participate in jihad. Further, according to published media reports, it was in 2006 that Usama Shami, the ICCP mosque president, dates his own relationship with Simpson, who would have been converted to Islam at about that time.

The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix’s Facebook page has posted links to both the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Muslim American Society and the Islamic Community Center of Tempe (or Tempe Masjid). Although not an event linked by the ICCP, the Tempe Masjid’s Facebook page currently contains an announcement for a May 15-17 course titled “Dawn of Mercy: The Messenger in Mecca.” One of the featured speakers for that event is Siraj Wahhaj, whose name appeared on a U.S. government list of unindicted co-conspirators for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Finally, in April 2015, Imam Sulaiman figured among other local imams who condemned the Islamic State and its barbarity as somehow divorced from Islamic doctrine and singled out Fox News, which he claimed was “paid to create an animosity between people.”

At least in the case of these two jihadi gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, the formative influence of a mosque like the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix and its clerical leadership must not be overlooked, especially when their affiliations, leadership and programs are as troubling as these.

Clare M. Lopez is vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

EXCLUSIVE: FBI, DHS Assessed Terror Attack Threat to Texas ‘Draw Muhammad’ Contest as ‘UNLIKELY’

h0ixM.AuSt.91PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, May 5, 2015:

The Feds, influenced by false narratives about the causes of terror, failed yet again. Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Public Safety took the threats seriously and saved lives.

As online chatter about a Muhammad cartoon contest began to escalate last week, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Joint Intelligence Bulletin last Thursday. The bulletin acknowledged the potential threat, but downplayed the possibility of any violence targeting the event.

The bulletin concluded that while the event could inspire violence abroad by contributing to terrorist messaging, it was “unlikely” that such violence would happen in the United States.

A copy of the FBI/DHS bulletin is provided exclusively by PJ Media below.

On Sunday night, two men – Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, roommates from Phoenix — did in fact show up at the event location in Garland, Texas, armed with semi-automatic weapons and body armor. Both were quickly killed in an exchange of gunfire before there was any direct threat to anyone inside the facility. One police officer was shot in the ankle — he was treated at the hospital and later released.

According to sources involved in the investigation into the terror attack and law enforcement preparations leading up to last Sunday’s event, there was virtually no online chatter about the cartoon contest until early last week.

The chatter began when news broke that two Muslim congressmen, Keith Ellison and Andre Carson, had appealed to Secretary of State John Kerry to deny entry into the U.S. for Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders.

Wilders was scheduled to be the featured speaker at Sunday’s cartoon contest.

One law enforcement source who was monitoring potential threats to the event told PJ Media the following:

[Ellison and Carson] clearly set things off. Nothing was being said until that news story came out, and then the usual suspects began to talk about it. By the time the weekend rolled around, there were clear and identifiable incitements calling for an attack on the event.

During this crescendo of online chatter, an FBI/DHS bulletin titled “‘Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest’ in Texas on 3 May Likely to Prompt Violent Extremist Reaction Abroad; Violence Less Likely at Home” was sent out to law enforcement agencies four days before the event was held.

The bulletin initially acknowledges a potential threat existed following the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January and the attack on an event where a Muhammad cartoonist appeared in Copenhagen in February:

On 3 May 2015 the “American Freedom Defense Initiative USPER” (AFDI) is sponsoring in Garland, Texas a “Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest,” for the stated purpose of “defend[ing] free speech and not give[ing] in to violent intimidation.” The FBI and DHS assess this motivation refers to deadly violent extremist attacks over recent months on institutions or events perceived as defaming the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Although there is no specific, credible intelligence concerning threats to the event thus far, we assess that this event carries the risk of being targeted by violent extremists because past events involving the alleged defamation of Islam and the prophet, Muhammad, have resulted in threats or overt acts of violence overseas, to include threats against both artists and publishers.

But by the end of the FBI/DHS analysis, they conclude that since such attacks had not happened here yet, they were unlikely to now:

Although past events involving the alleged defamation of Islam and the prophet, Muhammad, have resulted in threats or overt acts of violence overseas, we have not yet seen such violence in the United States. The most frequent reaction among US-based homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) is discussion and verbal disapproval via online communication platforms, including websites with violent extremist content and social media sites.† We assess it is unlikely that any one event perceived to defame Islam would alone mobilize HVEs to violence; however, such events are incorporated into violent extremist messaging and narratives involving Western persecution of Muslims, which we do assess overall to contribute to radicalization to violence.‡ US-based HVEs remain largely unconnected to each other, and their behaviors are often highly individualized, impeding our ability to predict their reactions with a great deal of confidence. We also judge US-based HVEs and violent extremists in other Western nations who are skilled in information technology have the capability to carry out a cyber-intrusion attack against organizations or individuals perceived to be defaming Islam.

On Sunday night, that analysis proved to be wrong.

The bulletin concluded with a list of suspicious activities, which they warn could still be “constitutionally protected.”

A source I spoke to last night suggested that the conventional wisdom of federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies on the nature of the domestic terror threat is reminiscent of a pre-9/11 mentality:

These agencies are stuck in a belief that domestic terrorism is something that happens “over there” and that will never come here. They get reinforced by our media and academics who tell them that jihadist terror in Europe is something that only happens because of alienation and poverty — not realizing how dramatically things have changed over the past few years. Where we used to see individuals and small groups traveling overseas to fight with terrorists, virtually every Western country, including the U.S., now have hundreds who have joined the jihad in Syria and Iraq.

This bulletin they put out last week is an example of how analysis and threat assessment gets done. Rather than looking at what happened in Paris and Copenhagen and determining that the threat was escalating, they rely on preformed biases to spin the facts to fit their narrative to conclude there was no threat. My concern is that they are now going to look at what happened [Sunday night] and determine that it was a random one-off event rather than a warning sign of what’s quickly headed our way.

According to those close to the investigation, the real heroes who quickly eliminated the threat on Sunday were the Texas Department of Public Safety, who took the online threats seriously. The threats included inciting tweets from known foreign Islamic State operatives overseas (namely, IS cybercaliphate chief Junaid Hussain), leading them to deploy a “massive” presence at the cartoon contest event.

The response from the FBI and DHS following yet another intelligence failure remains to be seen.

FBI/DHS JIB & Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Texas on 3 May;

Dossier on Suspects in Garland, Texas Jihad Attack: Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi Perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack May 3, 2015

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi
Perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack
May 3, 2015

NER, by Jerry Gordon, May 4, 2015:

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi, both suspects killed in the Garland, Texas jihad attack have been identified from the Arizona vehicle registrations and driver photo IDs.   Simpson, 30, and Soofi, 34 were roommates in a central Phoenix condominium. The Phoenix condominium was the subject of an FBI and police bomb squad investigation early this morning

Simpson was the author of the tweets sent just before the attack.   He has been the subject of an FBI terrorism investigation since 2006 and was convicted in a Federal Court trial in 2011 for material support for terrorism, an attempt to travel to Somalia to Join Al Shabaab.   One of the two perpetrators is alleged as having connections to CAIR, the self-styled Muslim civil rights group, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

ISIS in a series of tweets,  sent prior to the May 3rd Muhammad Art Contest sponsored by Pam Geller’s American Freedom  Defense Initiative,   inspired brothers  in the US to undertake an attack on the event. ISIS social media claimed responsibility for the attack in which both perpetrators were killed and a security officer slightly injured. The pre-event ISIS tweets doubtless increased the security arrangements at the AFDI event. A purported Muhammad Art contest  that featured a speech by Dutch Freedom Party leader, Geert Wilders and appearances by Rep. Louie Gohmert, Geller and Robert Spencer and others.  200 attendees were in lockdown following the attack and vehicles impounded as evidence in the crime scene. The event was webcast yesterday by the team from The United West led by Tom Trento.

Trento will discuss his experience at the Garland, Texas Muhammad Art Contest event today at 4PM (CST) 5PM (EST) with this writer and Mike Bates, co-host of “Your Turn” on 1330amWEBY, Northwest Florida‘s Talk Radio.  You may listen live here.

Heavy.com has compiled a dossier on the perpetrators of last night jihad attack in Garland, Texas, “Elton Simpson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.”  The article reported:

Elton Simpson has been identified as one of the two gunmen who opened fire Sunday night outside the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. An unarmed security guard was shot, but survived with a non-life-threatening wound, before Simpson and his accomplice were killed by police.

Simpson, 30, and the other gunman, his roommate, 34-year-old Nadir Hamid Soofi, are from Phoenix, Arizona.

Simpson was “well known” by the FBI and was the subject of a previous terror investigation, ABC News reports. He and Soofi were armed with assault rifles and wearing body protection, police said. They exchanged fire with a Garland police officer armed with handgun.

Simpson’s father, Dunston Simpson, told ABC News, “We are Americans and we believe in America. What my son did reflects very badly on my family,” adding that his son “made a bad choice.”

WFAA reports that FBI agents were searching the gunmen’s Phoenix, Arizona home.

Police also remain at the scene of the shooting, and have been examining the gunmen’s car. They were concerned about explosives being hidden inside it.

[…]

The FBI began investigating Simpson in 2006, when they began recording conversations he was having with an informant. He was arrested in 2010.

According to court records, Simpson received a sentence of three years probation in 2011 after he was found guilty of making a false statement to the FBI.

Simpson told FBI agents he had not talked with others about traveling to Somalia, when he in fact had talked to others about traveling to the African country, according to court documents. Judge Mary H. Murguia found there wasn’t enough evidence to support the FBI’s claim that the travel was related to terrorism. He had elected for a trial by the judge, rather than a jury.

The FBI had claimed that Simpson was traveling to Somalia to engage in “violent jihad.” The FBI claimed he was planning to travel to Africa to join the al-Shabaab terror group, which has since been responsible for the deadly Kenyan terror attacks at the Nairobi mall and Garissa University.
Simpson’s probation ended in 2014.

The Volokh Conspiracy blog wrote about the case in 2011, calling it a “partial government victory / partial defeat.”

Read the court order explaining why Simpson was found guilty:

According to court documents, Simpson was born in Illinois and then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he “converted to the Muslim religion at a young age.”

His attorney during the 2010 trial, Kristina Sitton, told ABC News that Simpson was on the no-fly list and the FBI had tried to convince him to cooperate with them, including after his conviction. Sitton said she thought Simpson was “harmless,” according to ABC News:

He grew up the most normal guy. Just a normal high school guy… Converting to Islam seemed like a good thing for him. He had been going down a bad path and then he found Islam. He never struck me as someone who would do this sort of thing. I’m not a bleeding heart, I’m a Republican. I’ve seen some pretty bad guys and he seemed pretty normal.

Simpson was working at a dentist’s office in Arizona, but had been on vacation prior to the shooting, his father told ABC News. Dunston Simpson said he last spoke to his son three weeks ago, but they “had not much to talk about, because we had some very serious differences.” Dunston Simpson said Elton was a “good kid.”

Here are some items from the Heavy.com dossier on Nadir Hamid Soofi,   “Nadir Hamid Soofi: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know”:

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.”

[…]

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.

Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism, Suspect ID’d as Elton Simpson of Phoenix

Simpson was arrested in 2010 on terror-related charges, but given probation. No time served.

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole. May 4, 2015:

BE SURE TO SEE UPDATES BELOW

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.

twitter.com_2015-05-03_23-53-45a

They report:

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:

ha tweet

UCLA Law professor Eugene Volokh actually wrote about Simpson’s case back in 2011. Quoting from the judicial opinion:

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

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

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:

jihadi tweets

UPDATE: ABC has posted a picture of Simpson

Here is the court decision in that prior 2010 case:

UPDATE #2: Dallas Morning News adds more detail, 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.

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Police searching car, apartment after shooting outside Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas (foxnews.com)

Police in Texas were still checking a car for possible explosives early Monday and authorities reportedly were searching the Phoenix home of the two suspects who were killed in an attack on an art exhibit that inflamed radical Muslims.

The City of Garland, Texas said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that the men drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center on Sunday night and began shooting at a security officer. Garland Police Department officers returned fire, killing both gunmen, the statement said.

The statement did not say whether the shooting was related to the event, a contest hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

One of the suspects was known to U.S. intelligence and had been part of a recent terror investigation for allegedly trying to travel to Africa, home of the Al Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab, sources told Fox News.

Officials have been at the Phoenix apartment complex – some 1,100 miles from the Garland, Texas, crime scene — since late Sunday night and are reviewing computer records from materials found at the residence. Police tape continues to surround the area, KSAZ reports.

Authorities also are investigating Twitter messages from overseas posted prior to the event calling for violence. The tweets were posted by a 25-year-old American jihadi with al-Shabaab, investigators told Fox News.
FBI spokesman Perryn Collier on Monday confirmed that the Phoenix residence is being searched for indications of what prompted the shooting.

The FBI said the men involved in the shooting were roommates, according to 12 News.

Authorities said they were worried that the suspects’ car in Garland could contain an incendiary device. Several nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution and a bomb squad was on the scene early Monday. Police had cordoned off a large area and at least three helicopters circled overhead.

The Garland Independent School District, which owns and operates the Culwell Center, identified the wounded security officer as Bruce Joiner. The district said in a statement that Joiner — who was shot in the ankle — was treated and released from a local hospital.

The FBI said the men involved in the shooting were roommates, according to 12 News.

Authorities said they were worried that the suspects’ car in Garland could contain an incendiary device. Several nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution and a bomb squad was on the scene early Monday. Police had cordoned off a large area and at least three helicopters circled overhead.

The Garland Independent School District, which owns and operates the Culwell Center, identified the wounded security officer as Bruce Joiner. The district said in a statement that Joiner — who was shot in the ankle — was treated and released from a local hospital.

Roby said he then heard two single shots.

Geller told the AP before Sunday’s event that she planned the contest to make a stand for free speech in response to outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad. Though it remained unclear several hours after the shooting whether it was related to event, she said Sunday night that the shooting showed how “needed our event really was.”

In January, 12 people were killed by gunmen in an attack against the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had lampooned Islam and other religions and used depictions of Muhammad. Another deadly shooting occurred the following month at a free speech event in Copenhagen featuring an artist who had caricatured the prophet.

Geller’s group is known for mounting a campaign against the building of an Islamic center blocks from the World Trade Center site and for buying advertising space in cities across the U.S. criticizing Islam.

When a Chicago-based nonprofit held a January fundraiser in Garland designed to help Muslims combat negative depictions of their faith, Geller spearheaded about 1,000 picketers at the event. One chanted: “Go back to your own countries! We don’t want you here!” Others held signs with messages such as, “Insult those who behead others,” an apparent reference to recent beheadings by the militant group Islamic State.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Why Adam Gadahn’s Killing Matters To Al-Qaeda

Adam Gadahn Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Adam Gadahn Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

MEMRI, by Steven Stalinsky, April 24, 2015:

On April 23, 2015 the White House announced that Adam Gadahn, the first American to be charged with treason since World War II and the man known as Al-Qaeda’s American spokesman, had been killed inadvertently in a U.S. drone attack in January in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. It seems inconceivable that 35 years ago in California, a little-known Jewish psychedelic musician, himself the son of a prominent Zionist doctor, and his wife brought into the world a son, Adam Pearlman, who would become one of America’s most notorious traitors in the war on terror.

In 2004, at age 26, Gadahn made it to the FBI’s most wanted list. He trained in Afghanistan terrorist camps, and was asked by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Muhammad to join a plot for a suicide attack outside Baltimore. A sealed indictment dated September 8, 2006 accused Gadahn, aka Al-Qaeda operative “Azzam the American,” of helping the terror organization with communications and propaganda, serving as its English translator, and providing it with information about American culture and vulnerabilities. The following month, the U.S. government formally announced treason charges against him.

Adam Pearlman’s parents converted to Christianity and took the last name Gadahn. Adam’s first contact with Islam came when his father sold meat he had slaughtered to Muslim halal markets. As a pimply, head-banging 17-year-old, Adam embraced Islam at an Orange County mosque. Until the summer of 2006, the University of Southern California’s (USC) Muslim Student Association’s online compendium of Muslim texts included an essay by “Adam Pearlman” titled “Becoming Muslim,” which stated: “Having been around Muslims in my formative years, I knew well that they were not the bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorists that the news media and the televangelists paint them to be.”

His first Al-Qaeda video appearance was in October 2004; a masked Gadahn declared, “Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood.” In his next video, which aired on Al-Jazeera on September 12, 2005, he explained, again masked, that Al-Qaeda’s numerous post-9/11 audio and video recordings communiqués had been “released to explain and propound the nature and goals of the worldwide jihad against America and the Crusaders and convey our legitimate demands.”

Both Gadahn’s knowledge of American culture and his media skills played a significant role in the development of As-Sahab, the Al-Qaeda media company; he was one of its key officials. He also laid the groundwork for other homegrown terrorists and for the use of the Internet for cyber jihad. High-ranking members of the Al-Qaeda leadership – even leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri – told Americans to listen to his words.

In his next video appearance, on July 8, 2006, Gadahn, unmasked for the first time, warned, alongside footage of 7/7 London suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer and of Al-Zawahiri: “When we bomb their cities and civilians… no sane Muslim should shed tears for them.” In a subsequent video, released January 6, 2008, Gadahn renounced his U.S. citizenship as he ripped up his passport.

From 2004 onward, Gadahn starred in nearly two dozen Al-Qaeda videos, producing, narrating, and providing graphics for many more. In most of his appearances, he was seated at a desk, usually with a computer and a rifle; in 12 years, he appeared outdoors only once. Most of his early videos were in English, but over time he began speaking in Arabic.

While some government and counterterrorism analysts have debated Gadahn’s importance, the fact is that he was a trailblazer in inspiring and helping to recruit American youth to join Al-Qaeda. No other Westerner, let alone American, was ever as close to the leadership of Al-Qaeda, including its late leader Osama bin Laden, current leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and even 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.

Gadahn’s importance within Al-Qaeda was confirmed by the May 2012 release of the Abbottabad documents found in the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound; the documents revealed that he had been one of the few people in contact with bin Laden and had actively advised him before his death. One, a 21-page letter, was filled with both media advice and general advice about the future of Al-Qaeda and the direction it should take with respect to its affiliates and their actions.

Not only did Gadahn help Al-Qaeda reach a wider audience, but his appeal to prospective recruits resonated with those seeking a direction and attracted to radical Islam. His personal story showed that anyone in the West, even the grandson of a Jewish Zionist doctor, could become a global jihad leader. In particular, he was influential among the American converts with little Arabic who comprise some of the increasing number of Westerners joining and pledging loyalty to Al-Qaeda and, now, to ISIS; Gadahn recordings have been found on the computers of many Westerners arrested on terrorism charges.

Beginning in 2010, Gadahn, now under the alias of Abu Suhail, regularly provided articles and interviews to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP’s) English-language magazine for jihadis in the West, Inspire, reaching an entire new generation of recruits.

Gadahn last surfaced in October 2014, in the inaugural issue of Resurgence magazine – the Al-Qaeda media company As-Sahab’s English-language mouthpiece for the recently formed Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). In the cover story, “Besiege Them!” he called for the establishment of the Caliphate and focused on economic tactics for combatting the West, concluding with a call to Muslims worldwide to wage jihad and warning the West that Al-Qaeda’s war on it has only begun.

The killing of Adam Gadahn is a significant blow to Al-Qaeda. This is because he was a big part of Al-Qaeda’s media outreach efforts, in particular outreach to potential Western recruits. Following the emergence of ISIS and its proficiency at producing English-language content, including online magazines and videos, and at distributing them via social networks – efforts which far surpassed Al-Qaeda’s – Gadahn’s death will increase the already significant gap in the rivalry between the two organizations. However, like Osama bin Laden and Yemeni-American sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki, his legacy will live on, on YouTube and other platforms and outlets where his videos are viewed every day by the increasing numbers of Westerners turning to jihad.

Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). He is the author of the upcoming book release: American Traitor – Inside the Mind of Adam Gadahn – Al-Qaeda’s U.S. Born Leader.

Also see:

6 ISIS-Related Arrests in San Diego, Minneapolis Over Alleged Terror Plot

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, By David Bailey, April 20, 2015:

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have charged six men from Minnesota with planning to join Islamic State and fight for the militant group in Syria, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota said on Monday.

All six Somali Minnesotans are friends and had been conspiring for the past 10 months, many trying multiple times to leave the country, U.S. prosecutors alleged.

They were arrested as part of a yearlong FBI investigation into mainly young men from the area trying to travel to Syria to join Islamic State, according to prosecutors. There is no evidence they had plans to conduct an attack inside the United States, prosecutors said.

Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19, Adnan Farah, 19, Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19, and Guled Ali Omar, 20, were arrested in Minneapolis on Sunday. Abdirahman Yasin Daud, 21, and Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 21, were arrested on Sunday in California after driving from Minneapolis to San Diego.

“We have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota,” U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger told a news conference.

Dozens of people from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, many of them young Somali-American men, have traveled or attempted to travel overseas to support Islamic State or al Shabaab, a militant group based in Somalia, since 2007, according to U.S. prosecutors.

They have said the Islamic State began recruiting in the Somali community in Minnesota in 2013.

Another Minnesota man, Hamza Ahmed, was stopped in New York last November en route to Syria and indicted in February on charges of conspiring to support Islamic State and lying to federal agents investigating recruitment by militant groups.

Three of the men arrested on Sunday had traveled to New York with Ahmed, prosecutors said.

One member of the group, which met regularly to plan the trips, had doubts, changed his mind and recorded their meetings, Luger said.

“They are not confused young men, they were not easily influenced,” Luger said. “These were focused men who were intent on joining a terrorist organization by any means possible.”

They received advice and encouragement from another group member, Abdi Nur, who joined the Islamic State and remained in contact with them, prosecutors said. Nur was charged in November.

The six men arrested in Minnesota are due to appear in U.S. District Court in St. Paul on Monday afternoon. The men arrested in San Diego are expected to appear in court on Monday and be returned to Minnesota.

(Additional reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Susan Heavey, Bill Trott and Ted Botha)

Minneapolis men allegedly trying to join ISIS highlight role of American recruiter

Australia: Five Teenagers Arrested for Plotting Terror Attack

Australian Federal Police acting deputy commissioner Neil Gaughan (Source: screenshot)

Australian Federal Police acting deputy commissioner Neil Gaughan (Source: screenshot)

Clarion Project, April 19, 2015:

Five teenagers have been arrested in Australia for plotting to carry out a terror attack in Melbourne.

Two are suspected of planning to carry out the attack, one, aged 18, has been charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack. The second man is likely to be charged in the near future.

Another man has been held on weapons charges, while two others aged 18 and 19, are being held in custody in connection with the attack.

Although officers said that the plot may have involved ‘edged-weapons,’ Australian Federal Police acting deputy commissioner Neil Gaughan said: “At this stage, we have no information that it was a planned beheading. But there was reference to an attack on police.”

Gaughan added that the attack was likely inspired by the Islamic State, saying:  “Some evidence that we have collected at a couple of the scenes, and some other information we have, leads us to believe that this particular matter was ISIS-inspired.”

Up to 200 counter-terrorism officers carried out the operation to arrest the suspects, which took place on Saturday.

The attack was planned to coincide with Anzac Day, a day of remembrance on April 25 for the Australian servicemen and women who died fighting in WWI. Next week marks the one hundred year anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. The attack was planned against a memorial event in Melbourne.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, urged citizens to attend Anzac Day events regardless of the plot. He said “The best thing we can do to counter terrorism… as individuals is to lead normal lives.”

Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said that those arrested had links to Numan Haider, who was shot and killed by a police officer in September 2014 while stabbing another police officer in a terrorist attack.

He said that the suspects were monitored for several months and the decision to arrest them was made when police received information that an attack was imminent.

Phelan discussed the difficulties facing law enforcement in tackling the new forms of terrorism.

He said: “This is a new paradigm for police. These types of attacks that are planned are very rudimentary and simple. . . . All you need these days is a knife, a flag and a camera, and one can commit a terrorist act.”

There have recently been a slew of terrorist incidents in Australia.

Two men were arrested in February this year for planning to carry out an Islamic State inspired beheading in Sydney, Australia.

In December 2014 Islamic State supporter Man Haron Monis took 17 people hostage in a Lindt Chocolat Café in Martin Place, located in downtown Sydney. They were held for over 16 hours by the gunmen before police stormed the building

In the same month a young high-profile male model gave up his promising career in Australia to join the Islamic State, along with his friend a business student for La Trobe University.

In September 2014, close to 800 federal and state police officers were dispatched to more than 12 locations across Sydney, in the largest terror raid in Australia’s history. More raids were coordinated in Brisbane and Logan as well. Police detained 15 suspects.

Also see:

BREAKING: New Islamic State Video Calls for Attacks on the American Homeland, Promises Another 9/11

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PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, April 11, 2015:

(video here)

At this juncture I would note the New York Times front page article on December 29th that described how America’s top war fighters, namely Special Operations Command, freely admit that they don’t understand the ideology driving ISIS and other Islamic terror groups:

WASHINGTON — Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, sought help this summer in solving an urgent problem for the American military: What makes the Islamic State so dangerous?

Trying to decipher this complex enemy — a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army — is such a conundrum that General Nagata assembled an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. Business professors, for example, are examining the Islamic State’s marketing and branding strategies.

“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” he said, according to the confidential minutes of a conference call he held with the experts. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

General Nagata’s frustration is shared by other American officials. Even as President Obama and his top civilian and military aides express growing confidence that Iraqi troops backed by allied airstrikes have blunted the Islamic State’s momentum on the ground in Iraq and undermined its base of support in Syria, other officials acknowledge they have barely made a dent in the larger, longer-term campaign to kill the ideology that animates the terrorist movement.

You can call in all the marketing executives and Harvard academics all you like, but when the Obama administration – meaning the entire U.S. government – as a matter of established policy refuses to acknowledge the ideology and intentions that our enemy publishes IN ENGLISH in the form of videos, audio recordings and magazines, and actively prohibits anyone in a government department or agency from discussing or speaking about said ideology, you really are beyond hope. And so is America.

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Also see:

Would-Be Suicide Bomber Targeted Kansas Army Base

John T. Booker

John T. Booker

IPT, by Abha Shankar  •  Apr 10, 2015

A year ago, he wanted to join the U.S. Army to kill his fellow soldiers. When that didn’t work, 20-year-old John T. Booker repeatedly expressed his desire to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or commit a suicide attack in the United States on the terrorist group’s behalf.

Booker, a convert to Islam who changed his name to Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, said American soldiers are enemies to Muslims, and the Quran sanctions killing enemies anywhere.

FBI agents arrested Booker Friday morning just outside Fort Riley, a military base near Manhattan, Kan. He was driving a van loaded with what he thought was 1,000 pounds of explosives. In fact, the bomb was rendered inert by FBI agents and informants. He is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to blow up government property and providing material support to the Islamic State.

In conversations with an FBI informant, Booker repeatedly expressed his intent to kill. “I will kill any kuffar. I will follow any place … if I was with [the Islamic State] and they said look, we are going to the White House right now … I would go with them without any question,” he said in November.

He was rejected by the Army in March 2014, after someone alerted authorities to Facebook posts extolling violent jihad and expressing his desire to kill American soldiers. “I will soon be leaving you forever so goodbye! I’m going to wage jihad and hopes that I die.” In another post the same month, he said: “Getting ready to be killed in jihad is a HUGE adrenaline rush!!! I am so nervous. NOT because I’m scared to die but I am eager to meet my lord.”

Booker told FBI agents at that time he wanted to enlist “to commit an insider attack against American soldiers like Major Nidal Hassan had done at Fort Hood, Texas.”

For reasons that aren’t clear, Booker was left alone until October, when an informant started talking with him. Booker suggested several ideas for terrorist attacks, mentioning Fort Riley as an attractive target “because the post is famous and there are a lot of soldiers stationed there.”

He also said “he wanted to see the fear in the kuffar’s eyes as he pushed the button and they ran for their lives,” the criminal complaint filed Friday said.

Last month, Booker said he wanted to emulate a suicide truck bombing by an American known as “Jihadi Joe.” Booker bought supplies to make a car-bomb from a list the informants provided. He made two martyrdom videos, including one in which he gave his bayah [pledge of allegiance] to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and urged Muslims to support them.

The other video, recorded Wednesday, shows Booker describing his 1,000-pound ammonium nitrate bomb. “Inshallah, this will kill many kuffar [nonbelievers]. This message is to you America. You sit in your homes and you think that this war is just over in Iraq . . . we today we will bring the Islamic State straight to your doorstep. You think this is just a game … when this bomb blows up and kills as many kuffar as possible, maybe then you’ll realize it.”

Agents arrested him just outside Fort Riley, at a little-used gate Booker thought would get him onto the base.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Also see:

Assessment: Booker is the 21st person arrested this year in connection with terror plots on US soil on behalf of the Islamic State or having the desire to join the terrorist organization in Syria. We continue seeing the escalation of wannabe jihadists on US soil from being sympathetic to becoming actively involved. Law enforcement from the local through federal level was successful in monitoring Booker and preventing him from carrying out an actual attack. The greater issue at hand is those that are not known without any type of surveillance monitoring their activities.
For every individual that has been arrested in connection with wanting to join the Islamic State or Al Qaeda there are 5 to 10, possibly more, that are unknown and therefore the most dangerous threat to US security. The public and particularly family members need to pay close attention to what their friends or family are getting involved. Years ago we used to teach our kids to stay away from bad influences. Jihadist movements are about as bad of an influence as they can come in contact.
The US government needs to put out public service announcements that are actually effective in deterring people from being susceptible to or joining radical Islamic movements such as Islamic State. In multiple articles we have published we have pointed out the dangers of homegrown terrorist threats on US soil as well as in countries of origin of other wannabe jihadists. This threat continues to grow and will morph and become more problematic if steps are not taken to curtail it now. Each year since 2013 we’ve seen the numbers of jihadists from the US and other western nations growing.
The US government and local community leaders need to be more proactive in engaging the local mosques to get those leaders to engage in moderation of their messages and reach out to wayward youth that may be susceptible to jihadist recruitment methodology. Federal and local law enforcement and intelligence need to have close coordination with the military to ensure potential future attacks are also thwarted.Military personnel need to maintain a high level of vigilance in and around military facility entrances in particular.

As we have seen in numerous other incidents involving lone wolf style attacks or wannabe lone wolves they have been recent converts. These are people that have converted to Islam within the past three years. While this isn’t always the case it is a frequent indicator. Many of them have been at least somewhat vocal in their desire to join in jihad in Syria or Iraq or to conduct an attack on US soil. They either talk to others about it or have blatantly posted about it on social media like Facebook.