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CHARGED: Idaho Man Accused Of Terrorism

Fazliddin Kurbanov

image courtesy of KBOI-TV

An Uzbekistan national living in Idaho was charged with terrorism in federal court on May 17. While President Barack Obama would like us all to believe that the threat from radical Islamists has all but been eliminated, recent deaths, maimings, and arrests indicate otherwise. Both the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect and the Fort Hood shooter should have been charged as terrorists, but the Department of Justice thought otherwise.

Fazliddin Kurbanov, a legal immigrant living in Boise, is accused of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction with a terrorist group. An empaneled grand jury quickly indicted the Uzbekistan national on three federal terrorism charges. Kurbanov allegedly gave computer software, money, and other resources to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

The group is has been designated as a foreign terrorist group. The Idaho resident is also charged with “helping prepare” for the use of a weapon of mass destruction. The indictment maintains that the Uzbekistan national conspired to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group and conspiracy to offer material support to such a group, and the possession of an unregistered destructive device. If he is found guilty on terrorism charges in Idaho, Kurbanov faces up to forty years in prison.

Where the accused terrorist would do his time remains unclear. President Obama vowed to close Gitmo after winning his first term in office, but the secure facility remains open. Many states pushed back at the federal government when faced with the proposition of housing terrorist on continental US soil.

After he is prosecuted in Idaho, he will be transported to Utah for another terrorism trial. A different grand jury indicted the same man for allegedly engaging in terroristic activities in Utah earlier this year. The Utah charge alleges that Kurbanov was distributing information relating to destructive devices, weapons of mass destruction, and explosives.

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) maintains that the Uzbekistan national conspired with the yet to be named co-conspirators to offer “material support” to the Islamic Movement between August 2012 and May 2013. Kurbanov was allegedly trained to make bombs by terrorists and found to have bomb-making materials in his possession. An excerpt from DOJ charges reads:

“From about Jan. 14, 2013, continuing through Jan. 24, 2013, Kurbanov 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 with the intent that the teaching, demonstration and information be used for, and in furtherance of, an activity that would constitute a federal crime of violence.”

The Uzbekistan man also allegedly offered both written and verbal “recipes” and instructions related to gathering necessary improvised bomb components. The terrorism charges also maintain that Kurbanov showed Internet videos related to his accused crimes and conducted “instructional” shopping trips. The number of terrorism students and whether or not they are all known to investigators is currently unclear. Even though the Idaho man is now behind bars, there still could be real safety concerns if just one of the bomb-making pupils is still roaming around freely.

Federal prosecutors feel that the accused terrorist was planning on using the explosives to bomb a public transportation system or public space or take down an interstate commerce building or an infrastructure facility.

If the Department of Justice charges are accurate, Kurbanov was in possession of a “destructive device” around November 15, 2012. The piece of equipment was a conglomeration of parts that were reportedly intended to be used to convert just about any device in a weapon of destruction. The terrorism indictment also states that device parts included aluminum powder, a hollow hand grenade, potassium nitrate, a hobby fuse, and sulfur. After the Boston Marathon bombings, some Democrats nearly immediately called for a black powder ban. As this latest case of terrorism shows, an individual with evil in their heart and some weapons skills can use any number of things to craft a death device.

An “extensive” investigation into the Uzbekistan national’s activities reportedly began late last year, and the FBI raided Kurbanov’s apartment on May 16. Kurbanov lived across the street from a local high school and had a “fairly clean” record. Court records reportedly indicate that before his arrest, Kurbanov’s only citations were twice for speeding and once for operating a motor vehicle without insurance. How and when he became involved with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is currently unknown.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan’s goal is to overthrow their government, according to Utah US Attorney David B. Barlow. The accused leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan was reportedly arrested in Afghanistan last month by coalition security forces.

Statistics posted on the CIA World Factbook indicate that 88 percent of the Uzbekistan population is Sunni Muslim. Mike Baker, a former CIA Covert Operations Officer now living in Idaho, told local media outlets that Uzbekistan “has an issue with radical Islam and jihadists.” Baker went on to note that terrorist groups in Uzbekistan are attempting to find individuals already living in America to “radicalize” and convince to commit an act of terror. If the statements by Baker are accurate, far more emphasis and review of who is granted both temporary visas and green cards should be a top national security priority.

Baker also had this to say about terrorism links to Uzbekistan:

“Obviously, we’re shocked, we’re surprised that it’s Boise. ‘How could this happen?’ But, the same feelings were there in Boston, after the Boston attack. I was there right afterwards, and everyone had the same reaction, which is, ‘How could this happen in our hometown, in our neighborhood?’ But, that’s the new face of the war on terror. It’s not so much that they’re trying to infiltrate us.”

Do you think the failure to secure the US border and other immigration policies diminish national security?

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