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05/16/2013

Uzbek national faces terrorism charges in Idaho and Utah

BOISE, Idaho – An Uzbek national living in Boise was arrested Thursday and now faces federal terrorism charges in Utah and Idaho as a result of an investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boise with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; and possession of unregistered destructive devices. In a separate indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City, Kurbanov is charged with distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction.

"Today’s arrest and these indictments underscore our commitment to aggressively and thoroughly investigate those who conspire to engage in unlawful terrorist activities," said Wendy Olson, U.S. Attorney for the Idaho District. "The thorough and exhaustive work of our JTTF, in partnership with our investigating and prosecuting partners in Utah, Colorado and at the National Security Division, put a stop to this criminal activity and ensured the public’s safety. I commend the men and women at every level of law enforcement, including the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Ada County and Canyon County Sheriff’s Offices and the Boise City Police Department, who assisted in this effort."

The indictment in Idaho alleges that between August 2012 and May 2013, Kurbanov knowingly conspired with unnamed co-conspirators to provide material support and resources, namely himself, computer software and money to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a designated foreign terrorist organization. The indictment also alleges in November 2012, Kurbanov possessed a destructive device consisting of a combination of parts including a hollow hand grenade, hobby fuse, aluminum powder, potassium nitrate and sulfur.

The Utah indictment stems from activity that allegedly took place in January. It says Kurbanov taught and demonstrated how to make explosive devices and distributed information relating to their use and manufacture. He allegedly showed Internet videos, conducted instructional shopping trips, provided written recipes and gave verbal instructions on where to obtain the necessary components to construct and use improvised explosive devices. The indictment also alleges that Kurbanov intended his activities to be used for training in the construction and use of explosive devices to commit a crime of violence, such as the use of weapons of mass destruction; bombings of a place of public use, a public transportation system or infrastructure facility; or destroying a building in interstate commerce.

Kurbanov’s activites were closely monitored by federal agents during the investigation and any potential threat posed by Kurbanov has been contained. Prosecutors say that, at the time of his arrest, he was legally present in the U.S.

If convicted on the Idaho charges, Kurbanov faces a maximum of 15 years in prison on each of the conspiracy counts and 10 years in prison on the possession of an unregistered destructive device count. He will be transferred to Utah at the conclusion of the prosecution in Idaho, where he could face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted on the Utah charges.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt and is not evidence. Individuals charged in an indictment are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the districts of Idaho and Utah and the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.