US sentences Uzbek to prison on terror charges

(iStock)
(iStock)

Boise - An Uzbek refugee authorities say had an unwavering commitment to kill personnel at a military base or civilians at crowded Fourth of July celebrations in downtown Boise, Idaho, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Fazliddin Kurbanov's sentence includes three years of supervised release and a $250 000 fine. He will also face deportation proceedings after serving the prison sentence.

Commit jihad

A federal jury in August convicted Kurbanov of conspiracy, attempting to support a terrorist organisation and possession of bomb-making components.

Kurbanov has maintained his innocence.

Kurbanov told US District Judge Edward J. Lodge through an interpreter, "I'd like to say that I'm not a terrorist. I've never been a terrorist."

But Lodge in handing down the sentence said Kurbanov "intended to commit jihad against the United States."

Prosecutors say the 33-year-old Russian-speaking truck driver who fled Uzbekistan in 2009 downloaded jihadist and martyrdom videos from a terrorist website and communicated with a terrorist organisation, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Authorities monitored his communications and arrested him in 2013.

Besides targeting Boise, authorities said, Kurbanov also discussed with a confidential FBI source targeting military bases, in particular West Point Military Academy in New York.

Deported

Kurbanov received 15 years each on the first two counts to be served concurrently and 10 years on possessing the bomb-making components to be served after completing the 15-year sentences.

Defence attorney Chuck Peterson asked Lodge for a sentence in the 13-year range, noting Kurbanov hadn't actually harmed anyone and would be deported after prison.

"That's punishment enough for what he did," Peterson said.


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