BOISE, Idaho – A federal jury returned a guilty verdict Wednesday against a Boise man charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization and possessing an unregistered destructive device.
Fazliddin Kurbanov, 33, an Uzbek national, was convicted following a 20-day trial before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Lodge. The jury deliberated two days before reaching its verdict.
The charges stem from a probe by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force with assistance from the Boise Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the sheriff’s offices of Ada and Canyon counties.
“Fazliddin Kurbanov conspired to provide material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzebekistan and procured bomb-making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on American soil,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin. “Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the law enforcement community and its partners, the threat posed by Kurbanov was disrupted and he will now be held accountable for his crimes. The National Security Division’s highest priority is counterterrorism and we will continue to pursue justice against those who provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations and seek to do harm to our country and our citizens.”
According to evidence presented at trial, between the summer of 2012 and his arrest in May 2013, Kurbanov communicated by email and Skype with a person or persons operating a website for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Kurbanov discussed with the website administrator his animosity toward Americans, particularly the military; his desire to build a bomb; possible targets in the U.S., including military bases in Idaho and Texas – and his need for instruction on how to construct and remotely detonate a bomb.
Kurbanov searched for and later discussed with a confidential source targets including military bases in the U.S. -- specifically West Point Military Academy. The website administrator asked the defendant to obtain specific anti-virus software that would protect the IMU’s website and to obtain and provide any amount of money. The defendant contacted his brother, who lived in Kyrgyzstan, about obtaining the anti-virus software and his brother sent the software to Kurbanov. Shortly before his arrest, the defendant opened an Idaho corporation through which he intended to funnel money to the IMU.
Between at least November 2012 and May 2013, Kurbanov possessed bomb-making components at his Boise apartment, including a hollow hand grenade, a hobby fuse, ammunition containing smokeless powder, tannerite, aluminum powder, potassium nitrate, charcoal, yellow sulfur powder and fertilizer. He purchased these items during the summer and fall of 2012. Agents observed the bomb-making components during a court-authorized search of Kurbanov’s apartment in November 2012 and seized many of the same items during a second court-authorized search in May 2013.
“Today’s verdict sends the clear message that where individuals intend to pursue acts of terrorism against the United States – whether in Boise or any other community – they will be brought to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. “Protecting our communities from terrorist activity is the number one priority of this office and of the entire Department of Justice. I commend the men and women at every level of law enforcement, including the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Ada County and Canyon County Sheriff’s Offices and the Boise City Police Department, who assisted in this effort.”
Kurbanov’s activities were closely monitored by federal agents during the investigation and no terrorist attack occurred. Kurbanov, who is being sentenced Nov. 10, faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison on each of the conspiracy and attempt counts, and 10 years in prison for possession of an unregistered destructive device.
Kurbanov also faces a separate one-count federal indictment in Utah alleging he taught and demonstrated how to make explosive devices, and distributed information relating to the manufacture and use of an explosive or weapon of mass destruction. The Utah indictment was returned in May 2013, at the same time as the Idaho indictment.