No sentence reduction for man convicted in 2015 Texas attack

Prophet Cartoon Contest Sentencing

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has refused to reduce the 30-year prison sentence for an Arizona man convicted of helping to plot a 2015 attack on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in suburban Dallas, even though one of his convictions was dismissed after it was discovered the FBI had withheld surveillance video at his trial.

Attorneys for Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, who was resentenced Tuesday in response to the dismissal of the charge, had asked for a 7½-year prison term. But U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton declined to shave any time off his sentence for his convictions related to the attack on the anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas.

Kareem, an American-born Muslim convert, was convicted of conspiring to provide the guns used in the attack carried out by two friends and conspiring with both friends to provide support to the Islamic State terror group.

His friends, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were killed outside event in a police shootout. A security guard also was wounded. The contest featured cartoons that are offensive to Muslims.

Bolton pointed out the seriousness of Kareem’s remaining convictions, raised public safety concerns if he were released early and wondered whether Kareem would back away from his radical religious beliefs as he gets older.

Even though Kareem wasn’t in Texas during the attack, Bolton said jurors found Kareem knew Simpson and Soofi were planning the attack in the name of the Islamic State and instructed them on how to use and clean the guns.

Kareem’s conviction for transportation of firearms with intent to commit a felony — for which he received a 10-year prison term -- was overturned in late 2019 because of the FBI’s failure to turn over the video taken outside Simpson and Soofi’s apartment in Phoenix.

The footage showed the pair in religious clothing as they were leaving for Texas to carry out the attack. Soofi wore a handgun on his hip, and both men carried duffel bags to Soofi’s car.

The FBI didn’t turn over the video until nearly three years after the trial.

Bolton had previously ruled the government violated a requirement to turn over evidence that