PHOENIX, AZ -- The trial of Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem got underway with jury selection Tuesday in Phoenix.
He's accused of helping the two gunmen in the Garland terrorist attack last May, which targeted a cartoon contest featuring depictions of the Prophet Muhammad--depictions considered offensive to Muslims.
The gunmen were killed in a shootout with Garland PD, but Kareem was arrested in Arizona. He allegedly helped ISIS - who took credit for the attack - by arming the two men with assault rifles and training them at a local shooting range.
Kareem is expected to plea not guilty.
We reached out to Pamela Geller, the cartoon contest's organizer. She says she's received death threats and attempts on her life since hosting the event, and while she says she won't back down in her defense of free speech, we'll have to wait and see if she brings her crusade back to Garland.
Meanwhile, Garland ISD, who owns and operates the Culwell Center where this all went down, didn't return NewsFix's calls. We wanted to know if they've changed their non-discrimination policy in the wake of the attacks.
Then again, since the Culwell Center is a public convention center, turning people away based on offensiveness would likely violate the First Amendment--a lesson the Dallas City Council is learning first-hand as it faces a free-speech lawsuit from Exxxotica - the sex expo the council voted last week to ban.
Man. You allow controversial events and you have to brace for terrorism, but say no and find yourself in court. Talk about a rock and a hard place.
Makes you wonder: is this public convention center business really worth it?