Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, also known as Decarus Thomas, was found guilty of plotting with others to attack a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Texas last year. (Reuters/Reuters)
ARIZONA
Guilty verdict in ‘Draw Muhammad’ attack

An Arizona man was found guilty Thursday of plotting with others to attack a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Texas last year and providing material support to the Islamic State group, prosecutors said.

Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, 44, was convicted on all five charges against him by a federal jury in U.S. District Court in Phoenix in a case stemming from the May 3 attack in the Dallas suburb of Garland that left his two alleged associates dead in a shootout with police.

The case against Kareem, also known as Decarus Thomas, was the first Islamic State-related prosecution to reach trial of the dozens brought by the federal government across the nation. It is the second jury verdict in such a case, as Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh was convicted this month in New York.

Kareem insisted that he was innocent and denied involvement in the attack when he took the stand for two days in the federal trial. Kareem’s roommates, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix, were killed by Garland police when they opened fire with assault rifles outside the cartoon drawing event.

The contest was intended to satirize Islam’s prophet Muhammad. The event came months after gunmen killed 12 people in the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in what was said to be revenge for its cartoons depicting Muhammad.

— Reuters

CALIFORNIA
Student who stabbed 4 was self-radicalized

The University of California at Merced student who went on a stabbing spree before he was fatally shot by police in November appeared to have “self-radicalized” and been inspired by the Islamic State, but he did not seem to have ties to any terrorist groups or been directed by anyone, the FBI said Thursday.

Faisal Mohammad, 18, injured two students, a construction worker and a university employee in the attack on Nov. 4. None of the injuries was life-threatening. A campus police officer killed Mohammad.

— Mark Berman and Niraj Chokshi

MICHIGAN
Lawsuit filed in Uber shooting case a hoax

A lawsuit against Uber filed in the name of a driver accused of gunning down six people in between stops to pick up fares is a hoax, authorities said Thursday.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said he saw reports Wednesday about a 11/2-page handwritten lawsuit by Jason Dalton seeking $10 million from the ride-hailing service and became suspicious because the envelope it reportedly was mailed in had a Philadelphia postmark.

An investigator spoke with Dalton, who is jailed, and he denied filing the suit, Matyas said.

Dalton also said that he did not authorize anyone to file a lawsuit on his behalf and that he did not know who would have done so.

The lawsuit was listed in federal electronic records as being filed by Dalton in U.S. District Court in Detroit and was given a case number.

Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder in the killings of six people and the wounding of two others on Feb. 20. According to police, Dalton told investigators that “a devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him.

— Associated Press

Judge refuses to release Bundy: A federal judge in Nevada refused rancher Cliven Bundy’s latest request on Thursday to be freed from jail ahead of his trial on conspiracy and other felony charges for his role in a 2014 armed standoff with federal agents, a spokeswoman for prosecutors said. U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl Hoffman Jr. ruled at a hearing in Las Vegas that Bundy, 69, posed a danger to the public if released, U.S. attorney spokeswoman Natalie Collins said. Bundy has been jailed since his arrest Feb. 10 at Portland International Airport after arriving there on his way to show support for anti-government militants who had taken over buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. Bundy’s sons, Ammon and Ryan, were indicted in connection with allegedly leading the Oregon occupation.

Hailstorm kills exotic birds in Fort Worth Zoo: Hail the size of golf balls killed several exotic birds at the Fort Worth Zoo as a powerful storm slammed North Texas on Thursday. The early-morning storm also broke windows, including skylights at the zoo, and damaged police vehicles in nearby Arlington. Zoo staff members were able to rescue several injured birds, a spokeswoman said, but five flamingos, a pelican, an ibis and a swan chick died, she said.

Pizzeria owner sentenced in terror case: A New York pizza-shop owner who admitted that he tried to recruit people for the Islamic State group was sentenced Thursday to 221/2 years in prison. Mufid Elfgeeh, 32, pleaded guilty in December in federal court in Rochester to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization in 2013 and 2014.

— From news services