Obama judicial appointee Mary Helen Murguia put Elton Simpson back on the street.

Let’s unpack this.

[FBI Director James] Comey said that [Elton] Simpson was first placed under FBI watch since 2006, when the agency first learned the Phoenix-area man wanted to join al-Shabab, the al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia. Simpson was ultimately indicted on terrorism charges and convicted, but due to questions over the government’s case, he never went to prison and was sentenced to probation. The FBI officially closed its case into Simpson last year.

As in, let’s look at the timeline.

  • 2006.  Elton Simpson comes under investigation “based on his ties with an individual “whom the FBI believed was attempting to set up a terrorist cell in Arizona,” according to court documents.”
  • 2007-2009: Simpson tells an informant for the FBI that he wanted to go to Somalia, presumably for the purposes of committing acts of terrorism. The feds ask him about this; Simpson denied that he ever said anything of the sort.
  • 2010: Since this could be easily proved to be a lie, Simpson was indicted and convicted for pretty much that charge (of course it’s a crime to lie to the government*).
  • 2011: And then… Elton Simpson was given probation and fined.  Judge Mary Helen Murguia – who is, by the way, both a Clinton (US District Court, Arizona) AND an Obama (9th Circus… ah, ‘Circuit’) appointee, decided that talking about jihad, vocally supporting jihad abroad, openly showing admiration for the imposition of sharia law, and then lying about his desire to go to Somalia – which at the time was in the news for, you guessed it, Islamist jihad – was not enough to justify more than three years of probation and a $500 fine.
  • 2012-2014: Elton Simpson spends his probation reaching out to ISIS.
  • 2015: Elton Simpson and an accomplice get shot in a Garland, Texas parking lot while trying to burst into a room full of people and murder them all.

Brilliant, Judge Mary Helen Murguia. Absolutely brilliant.  And it’s our domestic counter-terrorism strategy in a nutshell: which is to say, it gets worse and worse, the farther into the Obama administration that we go.

(Image via Shutterstock)

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: I guess that this means that Justice Murguia will no longer be considered for the next Supreme Court vacancy that crops up.  Which would be a pity, really.  Watching her squirm while trying to explain this particular court decision of hers would be entertaining, in its way.

PPS: Actually, if I was going to engage in character assassination I’d be bringing up Justice Murguia’s sister.  Who is almost certainly one of the reasons why you aren’t hearing all that much about Mary Helen Murguia.

*Yes, I know, that phrase raises the hackles of a lot of people. It’s still pretty obvious that a government would be both interested in making it illegal for people to lie to it, and possessed of the power to make such a thing illegal. Hey, the world was this way when I found it, OK?