Man Convicted in Attack on Texas 'Draw Muhammad' Contest

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By Andrew Blankstein

A Phoenix man was convicted by a jury Thursday of federal charges related to an ISIS-inspired attack on a controversial cartoon contest in Texas, prosecutors said.

Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, 44, was found guilty of conspiracy to provide support to the terror group, transporting firearms between states with the intention to commit murder, and other counts in the attack on a "draw Muhammad" contest in Garland on May 3.

The two gunmen in that attack, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were killed by police officers who returned fire. A security guard at the event was injured.

Kareem’s conviction is the first jury trial in the U.S. involving a homeland attack committed in the name of ISIS, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said.

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Kareem's convictions carry a possible sentence of at least 45 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Related: Man Charged in Muhammed Cartoon Contest Attack Eyed Super Bowl Plot, FBI Says

Kareem was accused of conspiring with Simpson and Soofi in 2014 to support ISIS and plot an attack in the U.S. Kareem also was accused of providing the guns used in the attack. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack.

"This verdict sends a strong message to those who support terrorists,” said FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Justin Tolomeo of the Phoenix division.

Related: Encrypted Messages Stymied Probe of Garland Attack, FBI Director Says

"People who are plotting to harm America and Americans are no longer a world away,’ he said. “Our agents and analysts will continue to confront this threat with a strong and coordinated effort as we work to protect all Americans."

Kareem's attorney has said the FBI’s case was based on an unreliable "jailhouse snitch," and that Kareem voluntarily spoke with the FBI after the failed attack.

Kareem is scheduled to be sentenced June 27.

Phil Helsel contributed.