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Who was Nadir Soofi other than an ‘extremist’? Facebook leads to some clues

By Azhar Khan

TEXAS: One of the two suspects who stormed an anti-Muslim caricature exhibition in Texas, Nadir Soofi, is discovered to have been a fan of renowned Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna (late), who won three Formula One world championships.

According to Facebook account of Soofi, which has now been taken down, the Texas shooting suspect had Senna as only figure in ‘favorites list’ of athletes. It may be mentioned here that Senna was killed in 1994 in an accident while leading the San Marino Grand Prix.

The cached version of Soofi’s Facebook page suggested his liking for beards in ‘activities’ section,  Ninja Warrior in favourite TV shows category, while the Holy Quran was also listed as his favourite book.

His Facebook page showed Soofi as graduate of the International School of Islamabad, in Pakistan, in 1998. The page shows Soofi also attended the University of Utah.

Below is the screenshot of his Facebook account which is no longer available:

Several US media identified the shooters — killed by police Sunday in Garland, Texas outside the event — as 31-year-old Elton Simpson and 34-year-old Nadir Soofi.

The Facebook account of Nadir Soofi, which is no longer available.

 

According to more details, Nadir Soofi was born in Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and spent the first three years of his life in Garland. Sharon Soofi said she’d converted to Islam at the behest of her now ex-husband. He was observant enough to want his children raised in his faith but was “moderate” in his beliefs, she said.

Sharon Soofi, mother of slain Nadir Soofi

Sharon Soofi, mother of slain Nadir Soofi

The family spent six years in Pakistan, but Nadir Soofi returned in time to start college at the University of Utah, where he enrolled in a pre-med program in 1998. He left without graduating in 2003, a university spokesman said.

According to a detailed account in the US dailies, the pair – Soofi and Simpson – shared an apartment in the city of Phoenix. CNN broadcast footage of FBI agents raiding the alleged address.

As per court records, in 2011 Simpson was sentenced to three years’ probation for lying to federal agents investigating his alleged jihadist sympathies.

FBI agents presented the court with taped conversations between an informant and Simpson, discussing travelling to Somalia to join “their brothers” waging holy war.

The prosecution was not able to prove that he had committed a terrorist offense, but did establish he had lied to investigators when he denied having discussed going to Somalia.

Private terror watchdog SITE said that at least one Twitter account linked to a known militant of the Islamic State jihadist group has claimed the attackers as sympathizers.

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