'Draw Mohammed' contest attack accomplice found guilty of terrorism
Karem, an American who converted to Islam, was found guilty of a conspiracy charge related to plotting the attack as well as conspiring to support Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Texas seriously made an art exibit about prohpet Mohammad...wtf that's direspecting the islamic religon. so ignorant they asked for trouble— maya (@buterafthes) May 4, 2015
He was convicted of supplying guns to the two men who opened fire outside the Prophet Mohammed cartoon drawing contest.
The gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were killed by police, prompting some Islamophobes to react with glee.
A security guard was shot in the leg before the men were killed. The gunmen carried three pistols, three rifles, and more than 1000 rounds of ammunition.
Kareem will be sentenced on June 27 and could face up to 45 years.
He denies knowledge of what his friends were planning.
Prosecutors argue Kareem hosted Simpson and Soofi at his home, where they planned the attack, and went for shooting practice in the Arizona desert.
Kareem says he kicked Simpson out of his home as he suspected he had placed a tracking device on his car, and that he did not approve of Simpson using his laptop to watch Al-Qaeda videos.
Prosecutors allege Kareem attempted an insurance scam to fund IS and sought to encourage two teenage boys to join radical jihadism.
Drawing images of the Prophet Mohammed is blasphemous in Islam. It stems from early Islamic efforts to prevent idol worship.
A liberal is someone who thinks putting a crucifix in urine is art but says showing a cartoon of Mohammad is offensive?— Unum Communitas (@UnumCommunitas) July 30, 2015
The “Muhammad Art Exhibition and Cartoon Contest” was designed to troll the Muslim faith.
The contest was organized by American Freedom Defense Initiative, considered an anti-Muslim group by Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate groups.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative is led by conservative Pamela Gellar who the SPLC described as “the anti-Muslim movement's most visible and flamboyant figurehead”. Gellar once claimed Barack Obama is the love child of Malcolm X.
Following the attacks, Donald Trump spoke out against Gellar, saying she endangered people and provoked the attackers.
Although IS claimed responsibility for the shooting, it is not clear if this attack was ordered by the group, or simply inspired by them.
This is the second case of an Islamic State-related trial taking place in the US. Last week, a US military veteran was charged with attempting to join IS.