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Texas Gunmen Honored as Martyrs in Pakistan

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The terrorists killed in Texas on Sunday while attempting to carry out an attack have been honored as martyrs in Pakistan.

Around 100 people gathered to hold a memorial service in Peshawar for the gunmen. A cleric delivered a eulogy saying “The exhibition of the blasphemous caricatures was unbearable for Muslims. It was shocking, sad, tragic and intolerable. We have gathered here to pay tribute and to carry out the Islamic rites for the Muslims who tried to stop it and sacrificed their lives and they will now be called ‘Martyrs for the prophet’s honor.’”

Ghausia Madrassa, the Pakistani Islamic school whose students are pictured protesting, also held a demonstration to honor the Islamist militants who carried out the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January.

One of the gunmen, Nadir Soofi, attended high school in Pakistan at the elite $20,000 a year International School of Islamabad.

Classmates remember him as charismatic and popular ladies-man. One classmate recalled his performance as the lead in the Elvis inspired musical ‘Bye-Bye Birdie” saying he had been a “confident heartthrob.”

She told AFP “He was always good looking, throwing back his long silky hair, but after the play he did, wow — he was Mr Elvis of school.” 

The other jihadist, Elton Simpson, was monitored by the FBI for his online activity. Yet an FBI official told reporters that it is extremely difficult for law enforcement to determine which threats made on social media are genuine and which merely grandstanding.

The official said that Islamic State supporters are constantly discussing jihad on social media, telling The New York Times “There are so many like him that you have to prioritize your investigations.”

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David Harris

David Harris is the editor in chief of Clarion Project.