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Colorado Man Charged with Attempting to Join Islamic Jihad Union

A Colorado man has been charged with attempting to provide personnel to the Pakistan-based Foreign Terrorist Organization, Islamic Jihad Union (IJU).

Jamshid Muhtorov, a 35-year-old refugee from Uzbekistan, was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport while attempting to travel to Turkey en route to join the Uzbek terrorist group on January 21, 2012.  IJU opposes the secular government in Uzbekistan and seeks to impose Shariah law in the country. The group has carried out a series of attacks in Uzbekistan, according to Uzbek and U.S. government officials, and has claimed responsibility for attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Muhtorov originally sought to travel to Turkey in the summer of 2011 but repeatedly delayed his trip.  He resigned from his job as a truck driver on New Year’s Day, and told a coworker he would be leaving the country in mid-January. 

The FBI began investigating Muhtorov based upon his internet communications with the administrator of an IJU-linked Web site.  The two communicated about an upcoming “wedding,” which is an often-used code word for terrorist attacks.  Through the administrator, Muhtorov swore allegiance to IJU and said he was “ready for any task, even with the risk of dying.”  In one conversation with his daughter, monitored by the FBI, he told her “that he would never see her again; but, if she was a good Muslim girl, he will see her in heaven.”

Muhtorov was aware of the possibility that his communications were being monitored.  In one phone conversation with an associate, he was warned about the possibility that his phone was tapped. The two cursed those who might have been listening to their conversations and “called upon Allah to punish those who do so,” according to court documents.

The Government has stressed that Muhtorov was not planning any attacks on American soil.  He faces up to 15 years imprisonment if convicted.

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