Texas Muhammad Art Attack Conspirator to be Sentenced

The only known, living terrorist connected to the May 3, 2015, attack at the Muhammad Art contest in Texas, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, is set to be sentenced on September 15. Kareem is a former Baptist who converted to Islam. His given name is Decarus Thomas.

Kareem was convicted by a Phoenix jury in March. United States District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton is presiding over the case.

Kareem’s co-conspirators, the two Islamic terrorists who traveled to Texas, were shot and killed within 15  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.

Breitbart Texas reported that the officer who bravely fought off the two Islamic terrorists who were firing Ak-47 rifles while wearing body armor received the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor from the President in May. The officer who killed them, Garland Police Officer Gregory Stevens, was armed only with a handgun, a .45 caliber Glock. He was working after-hours security for the event.

The attack has been referred to as a “jihad against free speech,” as reported by Breitbart News.

The jury took less than three days to find Kareem guilty of helping to plan the attack. He and the terrorists who traveled to Garland 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 has also been 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.

In July 2015, Pamela Geller, the art exhibit’s organizer, wrote an article revealing information about the terrorists’ mosque in Phoenix, 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 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.”

Prosecutor Joseph Koehler accused Kareem telling the jury, “He was a motivator. He was a bankroller. He was a trainer and an intended participant.” The two men had a photo of an ISIS flag that they brought to Texas.

“They want to announce to the world that we are here on behalf of ISIS,” the prosecutor told the jury. Referring to Kareem, he said, “He knew exactly what was going on with these folks.”

After the terror attempt in Garland, ISIS claimed credit for the attack, as reported by Breitbart Texas. They called the terrorists “soldiers of the caliphate” and promised more violence. 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.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2


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