The only known, living terrorist connected to the May 2015 attack at the Muhammad Art contest in Texas, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. Prosecutors had been asking for a life sentence. Kareem, whose given name is Decarus Thomas, is a former Baptist who converted to Islam.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, Kareem was found guilty by a federal jury in Phoenix, Arizona, in March 2016. The jury took less than three days to render a verdict for 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 marksmanship.
United States District Court Judge Susan Ritchie Bolton, a Bill Clinton nominee presided over the case and sentenced the Islamic terrorist after he was convicted by a jury. Kareem told the judge he “had nothing to do with this crime,” reported the BBC. The prosecutor was reported to say that the converted Muslim played a very active role in helping to plan the mass murder.
Abdul Kareem’s defense lawyer, Daniel Maynard, “argued that the attack was focused on the event and not an attempt to influence or retaliate against the government,” reported AZCentral. “I do not believe there is a clear or convincing evidence that the conspirators were attempting to interfere, intimidate and coerce the government,” Bolton was reported to say.
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.
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.
The two Islamic terrorists who traveled to Texas, Kareem’s co-conspirators, 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 Kel-Tec Sub-2000s and grenades. The Curtis Culwell Center is part of the Garland Independent School District.
Breitbart Texas reported that the officer who fought off the two Islamic terrorists received the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor from President Obama in May. The officer who killed them, Garland Police Officer Gregory Stevens, was armed only with a pistol, a .45 caliber Glock.
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.”
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.
The attack has been referred to as a “jihad against free speech,” as reported by Breitbart News.
This article has been updated to reflect additional content.