Kareem, 44, became the first person convicted by a United States jury for committing an attack in the name of the Islamic State, according to the Justice Department. "In the first jury trial in the country involving a homeland attack committed in the name of ISIL, Abdul Kareem was convicted of conspiring to provide material support to the foreign terrorist organization and other federal offenses," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said in a statement.
Kareem's attorneys hoped their client would receive as little as six years for helping Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi with their attack at Garland's Curtis Caldwell Center on May 3, 2015. After opening fire outside of the Pamela Geller-organized art contest, both Simpson and Soofi were killed by police. Simpson and Soofi wounded one police officer, Garland ISD security officer Bruce Joiner, in the attack, shooting him in the ankle.
According to the Associated Press, prosecutors in Phoenix said that Kareem, who grew up a Baptist, converted to Islam as an adult. He watched videos of Jihadist violence with Simpson and Soofi at his apartment, prosecutors said, and encouraged them to commit the attack in Garland after an initial plan to attack the February 2015 Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, fell through. He later provided the duo with the guns they used in the attack.
In the last week, the Garland attack has received renewed attention after being placed on the Trump administration's list of terrorist attacks that did not receive enough attention from journalists.