May 18, 2013 in Idaho

Fazliddin Kurbanov pleads not guilty to terrorism charges

By The Spokesman-Review
 

BOISE – Fazliddin Kurbanov, the Uzbek man facing federal terrorism charges in Idaho, pleaded not guilty on all counts Friday, speaking through a Russian interpreter.

The 30-year-old Boise resident, dressed in yellow-and-white striped scrubs stamped “Ada County Jail” on the back, faces three charges in Idaho: conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and to a designated foreign terrorist organization – the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan – and possession of an explosive device.

Kurbanov also faces a federal charge in Utah for allegedly conducting a bomb-making demonstration in January. He was arrested Thursday after federal grand juries in Idaho and Utah handed down indictments.

Federal Magistrate Judge Mikel Williams set a detention hearing for Kurbanov for Tuesday and scheduled his trial to begin July 2, though it will likely be delayed.

Kurbanov is among about 650 Uzbeks living in Idaho. He was admitted to the U.S. as a refugee in August 2009, the same month he moved to Boise, said Jan Reeves, director of the Idaho Office for Refugees, citing immigration records. Kurbanov was here legally, federal officials said.

Williams appointed federal defender Richard Rubin to represent Kurbanov, who said in an affidavit filed with the court that Kurbanov was employed as a truck driver until his arrest, has few assets and can’t afford an attorney.

Rubin said he’s entering pleas of not guilty to all three of the charges, which carry penalties of up to 15, 15 and 10 years in prison. An interpreter in California translated for Kurbanov via telephone.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an ally of al-Qaida and the Taliban that formed in 1998 with the goal of creating an Islamist state in Uzbekistan, a goal that later broadened to creating an Islamist state across Central Asia in an area sometimes referred to as Turkestan. Some members of the group call it the Islamic Party of Turkestan. It was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States government in 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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