An American-born Muslim convert convicted of supporting the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group and helping plot a 2015 attack on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years behind bars, Fox News reports.
In the attack in question, two gunmen shot a security guard in a Dallas suburb before being killed by a police officer outside an event showcasing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which many Muslims find offensive.
The suspect, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, told the judge in Phoenix he “had nothing to do” with the attack. However, authorities said Kareem provided the cash that his two friends – Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi – used to open fire outside the anti-Islam event in Garland in May of 2015.
Prosecutors sought a 50-year sentence for Kareem, who became the second person in the U.S. to be convicted of charges of supporting ISIS, according to Fox News. He was convicted of conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization, interstate transportation of firearms and other charges.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting attack, and one of the two gunmen was revealed to have tweeted allegiance to ISIS, but it remains unclear whether the Texas attack was inspired by ISIS or carried out in response to an order from the group.
During the investigation, police found that Kareem hosted two ISIS followers in his home to discuss the attack, according to Fox News.
Prosecutors said Kareem watched videos depicting violence by jihadists with the two friends, encouraged them to launch violent attack to support the terrorist group and researched travel to the Middle East to join ISIS fighters.
Authorities also said Kareem inquired about explosives to blow up the Arizona stadium where the 2015 Super Bowl was held, but later set his sights on the cartoon contest after the stadium plan fell through.
The verdicts against Kareem nearly a year ago marked the second conviction of someone within the United States on charges of supporting ISIS. He was convicted of conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization, interstate transportation of firearms and other charges.
Kareem denies involvement in the plan to attack the contest, testifying that he didn't know his friends were going to attack the contest and didn't find out about the shooting until after Simpson and Soofi were killed.
The Texas shooting was one example of the issue of radicalization which the United States and other countries have dealt with in recent years. American prosecutors have charged more than 100 individuals since 2013 with ISIS-related crimes.
Just last week, a Florida man was convicted of plotting to set off a bomb at a public beach in an act that prosecutors said was inspired by ISIS.
The man, 25-year-old Harlem Suarez, was found guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing material support to terrorists. He faces up to life in prison at his sentencing.