An Arizona man was found guilty on Thursday of plotting with others to attack a “Draw Mohammed” cartoon contest in Texas last year and providing material support to the Islamic State group, prosecutors said.
Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, 44, was convicted on all five charges against him by a federal jury in U.S. District Court in Phoenix stemming from the May 3 attack in the Dallas suburb of Garland that left his two alleged associates dead in a shoot-out with police.
The case against Kareem, also known as Decarus Thomas, was the first Islamic State-related prosecution to reach trial of the dozens brought by the federal government across the nation. It is the second jury verdict in such a case, as U.S. Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh was convicted earlier this month in New York.
“This verdict sends a strong message to those who support terrorists,” acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix division, Justin Tolomeo, said in a statement.
Kareem’s attorney could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday, but Kareem maintained his innocence and denied involvement in the attacks when he took the stand for two days in the federal trial.
Kareem’s roommates, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, of Phoenix were killed by Garland police after they opened fire with assault rifles outside the May 3 cartoon drawing event.
The contest was intended to satirize Islam’s Prophet Mohammed. It came months after gunmen killed 12 people in the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in what was said to be revenge for its cartoons depicting Mohammed.
Such portrayals are considered offensive by Muslims. None of the approximately 150 people attending the event in Garland in May were hurt.
The original indictment said Kareem supplied the two gunmen with arms and helped them prepare for the attack. He was later charged with showing support for the Islamic State militant group in social media posts, researching travel to the Middle East to train with terrorists and seeking to make explosives that could be used during last year’s Super Bowl in Arizona, the most-watched U.S. sporting event annually.
Prosecutors said Kareem could face a potential sentence of at least 45 years in prison.
(Reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix; Editing by Curtis Skinner and Sandra Maler)
READ IT: House Judiciary Committee releases report defining Trump impeachable offenses
On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report outlining the impeachable acts committed by President Donald Trump.
"Our President holds the ultimate public trust," said the report, titled "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment," in its introduction. "A President faithful only to himself—who will sell out democracy and national security for his own personal advantage—is a danger to every American. Indeed, he threatens America itself."
The report clarifies the procedures for impeachment, analyzes whether president can be "impeached for abuse of executive powers," and "whether it is preferable to await the next election when a President has sought to corrupt that very same election."
Devin Nunes likely under federal investigation over foreign contacts after Parnas phone call revelation: ex-FBI official
On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi speculated that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) may already be under FBI investigation for his secret calls with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.
"What do you make of the fact that the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, who participated in the Adam Schiff portion of the impeachment hearings, never said anything to anybody about the fact that he was not just the guy who's sitting on the dais, he was involved in some way with one of the players?" asked host Joy Reid.
"Well, it says a lot on two levels," said Figliuzzi. "It says a lot about Devin Nunes as an individual, his ethics, his integrity, and what he's all about. And then on a larger level, it's just a huge, ironic development that we're hearing all of this about — the Republicans are defending allegations that the president lacks integrity and ethics, and they're sitting there overseeing this and they're not recusing themselves, and they're not saying anything about their colleague, Devin Nunes. So, you know, the hypocrisy is loud and clear here. And eventually when the dust clears, Joy, I wouldn't be surprised if ethics investigations and perhaps even criminal investigations really point the finger at Nunes as someone who should have recused himself and is much deeper into this than we know now."
Trump hammered by ex-intel officials for sucking up to the Saudis after Florida naval base shooting
President Donald Trump is taking heat from former U.S. intelligence officials for taking a very soft tone with the Saudi government after Friday’s shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
Not long after the shooter was identified as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Arabian military, the president tweeted out words of sympathy from the Saudi king after a phonecall, writing, "The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people."