U.S. born and raised Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem found guilty of supporting Islamic State group, among other charges.
The ringleader behind a 2015 armed assault on a Texas exhibit of cartoons of Islam’s Prophet that left two attackers dead was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday.
Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, 45, had been found guilty of supporting the Islamic State group, of conspiracy to commit murder, and other charges in what the U.S. Justice Department said was its first jury trial involving an I.S.-inspired attack on the United States.
U.S.-born and raised Kareem was alleged to have chosen the target, supplied the weapons and encouraged friends Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi to undertake the attack in Garland, Texas on May 3, 2015.
Carrying assault weapons and wearing body armor, the two were intercepted by security personnel and, as a gunfight erupted, were shot dead before they could enter the event. A security guard was wounded. “Over the course of the conspiracy, Kareem, Simpson and Soofi considered attacking military bases, individual military service members, shopping malls, the Super Bowl and … Art Exhibit and Contest,” the Justice department said in a statement.
All three had shown support for the Islamic State group, which the U.S. has officially designated a “foreign terrorist organization,” according to prosecutors.