Arizona Man Gets 30-Year Sentence in Texas Attack Inspired by ISIS

The Associated Press/February 8, 2017

An Arizona man was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday for aiding the Islamic State by helping two followers who attacked an anti-Islam event in Texas, leading to a deadly shootout with the police.

Prosecutors were seeking a 50-year sentence for the man, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, an American-born Muslim convert who became the second person in the United States to be convicted on charges of supporting the Islamic State. He was convicted of conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization, interstate transportation of firearms and other charges.

His friends Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were the only ones killed in the May 2015 shootout outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Tex. A security guard was wounded. The contest featured images that are offensive to Muslims.

The authorities said Mr. Kareem had watched videos depicting violence by jihadists with the two friends, encouraged them to carry out a violent attack, and researched travel to the Middle East to join Islamic State fighters.

“He knew what Mr. Simpson and Soofi intended to do,” Federal District Judge Susan R. Bolton said.

Mr. Kareem kept his head down as the sentence was announced. “I had nothing to do with this crime,” he told the judge.

His lawyer, Daniel Maynard, acknowledged that his client had associated with people who had radical political views, but underscored that Mr. Kareem was in Arizona at the time of the attack.

A prosecutor, Kristen Brook, said Mr. Kareem had actively assisted in an attempted mass murder. “The offense was ideologically fueled hatred,” she said.

Mr. Kareem testified that he had not known his friends were going to attack the contest and did not find out about the shooting until after Mr. Simpson and Mr. Soofi were killed.

He told jurors last year that he disapproved of Mr. Simpson’s using Mr. Kareem’s laptop to watch Qaeda promotional materials.

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