Islamic terrorism: It’s all fun and games until you are looking at 50 horrible years in prison.
A Massachusetts man was convicted Wednesday of plotting to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller and kill other Americans on behalf of the Islamic State group, according to the Boston Herald.
Jurors found David Wright guilty of all charges, including conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.
The 28-year-old faces up to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Wright, his uncle and a third man conspired to kill Geller because they were upset she organized Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas in 2015. During the contest, two other men opened fire outside and wounded a security guard before they were killed in a shootout with law enforcement assigned to guard the event.
Wright’s uncle, Ussamah Rahim, told Wright on a recorded phone call later that month that he couldn’t wait to attack Geller and decided instead to go after “those boys in blue,” referring to police. Wright told his uncle that was “beautiful” and encouraged him to delete all the data from his computer before carrying out his attack.
Hours later, Rahim was shot and killed by authorities after he lunged at them with a knife when they approached him in Boston. The attack on Geller, who has spearheaded scores of events across the nation to decry Islamic extremism, was never carried out.
Wright cried on the stand when he spoke of his uncle, insisting that he didn’t think Rahim was serious about the attack. Wright, who was more than 500 pounds (227 kilograms) in 2015, testified that he used Islamic State group propaganda to get attention but was just playing a role and never wanted to commit violence.
“I didn’t want my uncle to get hurt. I didn’t want law enforcement to get hurt,” Wright said. “I lost someone who was very close to me because I was so deluded and self-centered that I couldn’t see beyond my own need for attention.”
Prosecutors said Wright was the leader of the conspiracy and recruited his uncle and others to help him wage war on the U.S. Wright’s uncle received directions about the plan to kill Geller from Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State group member and hacker who was later killed in an airstrike in Syria, prosecutors said.