Trial begins for alleged associate of ISIL attackers in Garland, Texas
...If proved, this points out the ghoulish nature of radical Islam. There is something about this religion that makes mass murderers out of some of its followers.
Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, a 44-year-old moving company owner, is accused of hosting the two gunmen at his home to discuss plans for the attack, going target shooting in the remote Arizona desert with the pair and providing the guns used at the contest.
Kareem is believed to be the first person to stand trial in the U.S. on charges related to Islamic State.
Prosecutor Kristen Brook portrayed Kareem as being obsessed with Islamic State and went so far as to indoctrinate a child in his neighborhood by showing him Internet videos of the group's militants burning a Jordanian pilot in a cage.
She said he was instrumental in helping Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi in their thwarted attack on the cartoon contest. "The defendant was the third man on a team set on mass murder," she said.
Brook said Kareem, Simpson and Soofi watched terrorism videos, beheadings and Islamic State propaganda clips, and had a reverence for anything coming from Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric killed in a CIA drone strike in 2011 who remains an admired figure among radicals.
She said they originally wanted to acquire explosives to blow up the stadium hosting the 2015 Super Bowl and a nearby shopping center. When that plan failed to materialize, they allegedly set their sights on the cartoon contest in Garland.
Brook cited tweets by Simpson in which he posted a photo of al-Awlaki and said "when will they ever learn," after learning of more prizes available to people participating in the contest.