Muhtorov’s arrest is the result of a long-term investigation conducted by the FBI’s Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force. The Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force provided investigative support.
The defendant is a refugee from Uzbekistan. According to the criminal complaint, which was obtained in Denver and initially filed under seal, Muhtorov indicated that he planned to travel overseas where he intended to fight on behalf of the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
The IJU, a Pakistan-based extremist group, adheres to an anti-western ideology, opposes secular rule in Uzbekistan and seeks to replace the current regime with a government based on Islamic law. In addition to conducting suicide attacks in Uzbekistan, the IJU has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Muhtorov allegedly has sworn allegiance to the IJU, stating he was ready for any task, even with the risk of dying. The alleged activities of Muhtorov highlight the continued interest of extremists residing in the United States to join and support overseas terrorists.
The government does not allege that Muhtorov was plotting attacks against any targets inside the United States.
The defendant is charged by criminal complaint with one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, specifically provision and attempted provision of personnel to the IJU. If convicted, Muhtorov faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in cities across the country. The investigation was also aided by the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
Muhtorov is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Holloway.
The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.