PHOENIX, Arizona An Arizona Islamic State sympathizer, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, was convicted on Thursday for planning a thwarted terror plot to attack a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Texas in 2015, prosecutors said.
A federal jury in the US District Court in Phoenix held Kareem, 44, guilty on all five charges against him. The charges stemmed from the May 3 last year strike that left his two alleged associates dead in a shootout with police in the Dallas suburb of Garland.
The case marked the first time that anyone charged with providing support to the Islamic State has taken the case to a jury. The federal government has brought to trial dozens of Islamic State supporters across the nation.
Prosecutors said Kareem could face a potential sentence of at least 45 years in prison.
“In the first jury trial in the country involving a homeland attack committed in the name of (Islamic State). Abdul Kareem was convicted of conspiring to provide material support to the foreign terrorist organization and other federal offenses,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said in a statement.
It is also the second jury verdict in such a case, as Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh was convicted 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 has constantly been pleading innocence and has denied involvement in the attacks. His attorney, Daniel Maynard, said he was very disappointed with the verdict
The official said the test violated multiple UN Security Council resolutions that ban North Korea from engaging in any ballistic and nuclear activities. READ MORE OF THIS STORY