Boston man convicted of plotting to behead blogger for ′Islamic State′ | News | DW | 18.10.2017
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Boston man convicted of plotting to behead blogger for 'Islamic State'

The US man was found guilty of plotting to kill a conservative blogger for organizing a "Draw the Prophet" cartoon contest. He was also convicted of conspiring to commit acts of terror on behalf of the "Islamic State."

Jurors in Boston found David Wright, a Boston-area man, guilty of conspiracy to commit acts of international terrorism and supporting the "Islamic State" (IS) extremist group for planning to behead American blogger Pamela Geller.

Wright, who is 28 years old, was found guilty of all five criminal charges for hatching the beheading plot in 2015 along with his uncle and a friend. He faces up to life in prison.

Prosecutors said Wright and his aides were upset with Geller for organizing a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas in 2015. Two other gunmen attacked the contest and were shot dead.

Blogger Pamela Geller

Conservative blogger Pamela Geller was targeted

Wright and his counterparts then plotted to kill Geller in New York. But Wright's uncle Ussamah Rahim lost patience with that plan and decided instead to attack the police. Rahim was shot dead by officers just as he lunged at them with a knife.

The plot to kill Geller, who described the cartoon contest as an exercise of free speech, fell apart.

"You heard them talking about beheadings," Assistant US Attorney Stephanie Siegmann told the jury in her closing arguments Monday, citing tape-recorded conversations between the men.

'Islamic State' link

Prosecutors said Wright was the leader of the conspiracy and brought the others on board. They presented evidence that Wright had been in touch with IS militants in Syria and had vowed to join their cause.

According to prosecutors, Wright's uncle received directions about the plan to murder Geller from Junaid Hussain, an IS militant and hacker who was later killed in an airstrike in Syria.

Rahim's family has denied he showed any signs of radicalization. Wright's friend and co-plotter Nicholas Rovinski pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy charges and testified against Wright.

He told jurors that Wright said Geller "deserved to be beheaded" because she mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

ap/se (Reuters, AP)

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