A U.S. jury has convicted an Uzbek man on terrorism-related charges for gathering explosive materials at his Idaho apartment and seeking to support the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).
Fazliddin Kurbanov, who fled the Central Asian nation in 2009, was arrested in 2013 after investigators found “bomb-making components” at his Boise apartment, including a hollow hand grenade, a hobby fuse, fertilizer, and other materials, according to U.S. authorities.
Federal prosecutors said Kurbanov, 33, had tried to provide computer support and money to the IMU, which the U.S. government has designated a terrorist organization. They said Kurbanov had also researched possible attacks on U.S. targets and sought guidance for building bombs.
His defense lawyer said Kurbanov was making empty boasts when he talked about planning an attack, and that the explosive materials were for building fireworks and legally available for purchase at hunting and sporting goods stores.
The jury found Kurbanov guilty on August 12 of three criminal counts, including conspiracy and attempting to support a terrorist organization, but acquitted him of two additional counts.
He faces up to 10 years in prison for gathering the explosive materials and up to 15 years for the other two charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 10.
The IMU was originally formed with the goal of overthrowing Uzbekistan’s authoritarian government, but it later allied with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. More recently, its leadership has pledged loyalty to the Islamic State militant group.
With reporting by AP