(WASHINGTON) — Federal agents from the Denver and Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Forces have arrested an alleged Islamic radical Uzbek man living in Aurora, Colo., on charges of, “providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization” known as the Islamic Jihad Union.
A criminal complaint released Monday alleges Jamshid Muhtorov, 35, began communicating with an Islamic Jihad Union representative last year, pledging his allegiance to the organization and offering money for a “wedding gift.” The term “wedding,” the criminal complaint notes, is code for a terrorist event or attack.
In e-mails intercepted by the FBI, Muhtorov asked to be “invited to the wedding” said he was, “ready for any task, even with the risk of dying.”
Muhtorov recently quit his job driving trucks and told his wife he was leaving the country for Istanbul, Turkey. He was arrested Saturday at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and had his initial court appearance Monday where he waived an initial hearing, U.S. attorney spokesperson Jeffrey Dorschner said. An Illinois judge ordered Muhtorov be transported back to Colorado for prosecution.
“The alleged activities of Muhtorov highlight the continued interest of extremists residing in the United States to join and support overseas terrorists,” the U.S. attorney said in a statement. “The government does not allege that Muhtorov was plotting attacks against any targets inside the United States.”
The Islamic Jihad Union, designated a terrorist organization in 2005, is a Sunni extremist organization that seeks to replace secular rule in Uzbekistan with a government based on Islamic law, according to the U.S. State Department. The group is believed to have been behind simultaneous suicide bombings of the U.S. and Israeli embassies in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent in 2004 and “operated against” coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Aurora, Colo., is also the former home of another radical Muslim, Najibullah Zazi. He was arrested in 2009 and later pleaded guilty in a plot to blow up New York City subway trains.
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