The only known living terrorist connected to the May 3, 2015, attack at the Muhammad Art contest in Texas, says he is entitled to a new trial because his due process rights have been violated. Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, a convert to Islam, claims prosecutors withheld evidence that would have created reasonable doubt or absolved him.
In May, a jury in Phoenix, Arizona, took less than three days to reach their verdict in federal district court. The eight women and four men found Kareem guilty of planning and aiding the two Islamic terrorists who traveled from Phoenix to the art contest.
The pair were shot and killed within fifteen seconds after they reached the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, as reported by Breitbart Texas. The terrorists arrived at the gun-free zone armed with AK-47s and grenades. The Curtis Culwell Center is part of the Garland Independent School District. The attack has been referred to as a “jihad against free speech,” as reported by Breitbart News.
Kareem was found guilty of helping to plan the attack. The three men attended the same mosque in Phoenix.
Prosecutors charged that Kareem provided the firearms to the two Islamic terrorists and that he trained and housed them. He took them to the desert to practice shooting targets.
The indictment alleged that “the three men became interested in violent jihad and the foreign terrorist organization the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” It also stated, “The three men watched and read ISIL-related videos and other materials relating to ISIL and violent jihad and expressed their support for the terrorist organization.” “On or about 2014” the three “began conspiring to support ISIL.”
Kareem was indicted in December 2015 on five counts: (1) Conspiracy; (2) Interstate Transportation of Firearms with Intent to Commit a Felony; (3) Making False Statements; (4) Felon in Possession of Firearm; and (5) Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Kareem was also accused of having accessed an Islamic State database of U.S. military servicemen and women’s home addresses, as reported by the New York Daily News, and of planning an attack at Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona. As reported by the New York Times, a former roommate testified that Kareem asked him where he could get explosives to blow up the stadium. The Times also reported that the prosecution introduced testimony from experts on terrorism that detailed the recruitment methods used by terrorists, including the Islamic State.
According to The Arizona Republic, defense counsel for Kareem filed motions on Friday claiming that jurors may have found him innocent if his due process rights had not been violated. Lawyer Daniel Maynard called it “a close case” and added, “This was not a case where there was an abundance or overwhelming evidence.”
“I wish I could tell you what it is [prosecutors have allegedly not revealed],” he said. “I feel like Alice in Wonderland going through the rabbit hole.”
In July 2015, Pamela Geller, the art exhibit’s organizer, wrote an article revealing information about the Phoenix mosque, as well as other mosques that have been attended by terrorists.
Geller said Ibrahim (formerly Elton) Simpson and Nadir Soofi, the two terrorists who attempted the attack in Garland, were members,of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Geller also wrote that Simpson’s friend Courtney Lonergan remembers, according to the Arizona Republic, that “Simpson would never waver from the teachings he picked up in the mosque and elsewhere.” Lonergan said, “He was one of those guys who would sleep at the mosque. The fact that he felt personally insulted by somebody drawing a picture had to come from the ideological rhetoric coming out of the mosque.”
During closing arguments, prosecutor Joseph Koehler accused Kareem saying, “He was a motivator. He was a bankroller. He was a trainer and an intended participant.” Koehler noted that the two men printed out an ISIS flag and brought it to the art exhibit. “They want to announce to the world that we are here on behalf of ISIS,” he told the jury. “He knew exactly what was going on with these folks.”
The terrorist group ISIS claimed credit for the attack, as reported by Breitbart Texas. The group called the gunmen “soldiers of the caliphate” and promised more attacks. The message was transmitted in an audio statement through the group’s Al Bayan radio station, according to an AP report published on the ABC13 News website. It was not clear if the shooters were acting under direct orders from the Islamic State, or if they pledged their allegiance to ISIS and then acted on their own. One day after the attack, Breitbart News reported that approximately 200 Muslims in Pakistan held a gathering to honor the Garland jihadis.