Quantcast
Connect with us

Nadir Soofi: Texas gunman had happy childhood in Pakistan but struggled in US

Published

on

Members of the FBI Evidence Response Team investigate the crime scene outside of the Curtis Culwell Center after a shooting occurred the day before, on May 04, 2015 in Garland, Texas (AFP Photo/Ben Torres)

Nadir Soofi, a gunman shot dead after opening fire at a Texas exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, was a popular schoolboy in Pakistan but struggled to adjust to the United States after moving there as a teen, friends said on Tuesday.

Soofi’s story appeared to trace a familiar arc for some Western Islamists – disappointment, alienation, and a search for belonging that ended with the embrace of militancy.

ADVERTISEMENT

That is what police say inspired Soofi and his roommate, Elton Simpson, to attack the exhibit and contest to draw Prophet Mohammad cartoons on Sunday.

Such depictions are offensive to Muslims and often spark violence. Event organizers said the event was defending free speech.

The two gunmen were shot dead by a police officer before they could kill anyone.

Friends in Pakistan, who studied with Soofi at the elite International School of Islamabad, were stunned to discover that police had identified him as was one of the attackers.

“When he was in Islamabad, he had a great life. His mom was an American who taught art at the school, he was in plays, popular with girls,” said one of Soofi’s best friends at school.

ADVERTISEMENT

“His nickname was Goofy” because of his sense of humor, said the man, who declined to be identified to preserve his privacy.

Another classmate said Soofi played the lead in the school’s production of the play “Bye Bye Birdie”.

“He was a popular kid, the opposite of a radical extremist,” she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Soofi’s parents divorced around the time he was in tenth grade, the friend said, and he moved to Utah with his mother.

Over the years, Soofi told his old friends he did not fit in and had many disappointments.

ADVERTISEMENT

He went to dental school, but said he had to drop out because of financial problems, the male friend said.

He tried and failed at various ventures including a dry cleaning store, he said.

He told friends he had a child with a Bosnian woman but the relationship did not work out.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He said ‘life is really tough here’,” the male friend said. “Alienation, an identity crisis, whatever you want to call it, he was kind of alone.”

“I guess the one thing he could identify with was religion.”

In the past few years, Soofi grew a beard and only posted pictures of himself wearing sunglasses on Facebook, the friend said. Old friends teased him for that but also began to worry, the friend said.

Gradually they lost contact.

“I looked at his pictures, and I didn’t recognize him,” the friend said. “I don’t know what happened to him in America.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Amy Coney Barrett’s membership in her controversial ‘covenant group’ should be probed by Democrats: Catholic theologian

Published

on

Appearing on CNN early Sunday morning, Massimo Faggioli -- Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University -- said the Senate Democrats are within their rights to question Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett about her religion with a focus on her specific beliefs that he asserted are out of the mainstream -- even within the church.

Speaking with CNN host Martin Savidge, Faggioli made the case that Barrett is part of a fringe "covenant" group within the Catholic religion that should be brought to light to understand how she views the world.

'Why is her devotion so much more problematic?" the CNN host asked.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

The Trump years have proved to be an ethical Whack-a-Mole game in which the taxpayer is always the loser

Published

on

Maybe it has ever been thus, but Donald Trump is using our tax dollars to send to potential voters in an outwardly political effort.

Recent efforts, for example, include ponying up an extra $13 billion more dollars in pandemic aid for big agriculture under the name of expanded aid to farmers in rural America whose support Trump needs, and a late-inning aid package to Puerto Rico – three years after the hurricanes that devastated the island – in what amounts to begging disrupted Puerto Ricans in Florida to see things his way.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Democrats have a plan to make Mitch McConnell’s life as painful as possible: report

Published

on

According to a report from Politico, Senate Democrats acknowledge that they don't have the numbers to keep Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett off the court when the Senate takes up the vote -- but that doesn't mean they won't be using her controversial nomination to make Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's life a living hell as the election approaches.

With the Republican-controlled Senate poised to rush Barrett's nomination through with a vote tentatively scheduled prior to the November 3rd election, Politico is reporting that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has his colleagues on-board to "disrupt and obstruct Senate Republicans" with an assortment on procedural maneuvers that will hinder McConnell's efforts.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE