Terrorism trial for Boise resident Fazliddin Kurbanov delayed

With 'national security' invoked, few details have been released.

jsowell@idahostatesman.comJune 1, 2014 

Terrorism Charges-Idaho

This undated image provided by the Idaho State Police shows Fazliddin Kurbanov. Kurbanov, an Uzbekistan national, is accused of giving support, cash and other resources to help a recognized terrorist group in his home country plan a terrorist attack there.

AP

The terrorism trial of Boise resident Fazliddin Kurbanov, scheduled to begin this summer, has been pushed back to October.

Kurbanov, 31, a Uzbek refugee who came to the United States in 2009, is accused of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and possession of an unregistered explosive device.

Authorities say he helped teach people to build bombs that were to be used to target public transportation.

Kurbanov, who was arrested May 17, 2013, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Other than the indictment against Kurbanov, which provides only a brief overview of the crimes he is accused of committing, very little information has been added to the federal file.

District Judge Edward J. Lodge ordered that any information that involves national security or that has been designated classified must be submitted under seal. Defense attorneys Charles and Monica Peterson, prosecutors and anyone else involved in the case need security clearances to review sensitive documents.

In a court filing, federal prosecutors say they plan to introduce testimony from expert witnesses who specialize in Islamic terrorism and international terrorist recruitment, finances and communications.

One of the witnesses, Guido Steinberg, is an expert on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. A senior fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, Steinberg has testified in nearly 30 trials of members of al-Qaida and its affiliates.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan formed in the 1990s to overthrow the Uzbek government and create an Islamic state ruled by Shariah law. The group set up its initial operations in Pakistan and has also been active in Afghanistan.

Kurbanov allegedly has ties to the group. His arrest was one of the first for a group member or supporter in the United States. Prosecutors say he provided material support and resources to the IMU. Alleged activities took place in Idaho and Utah.

Prosecutors have been tight-lipped, refusing to say whether Kurbanov is suspected of planning attacks in the U.S. or abroad, or whether the co-conspirators he is accused of training are Americans or foreigners.

The government also plans to call Evan Kohlmann, founder of Flashpoint Global in New York City. His company specializes in terrorist recruitment, financing and communications.

And testimony is expected from Temur Khakberdiev, a Uzbekistan native and doctor who works as a translator. Khakberdiev, who served as a translator when Kurbanov was first questioned by police and FBI agents, is fluent in Russian and the Uzbek language. Kurbanov answered questions in both languages.

John Sowell: 377-6423, Twitter: @IDS_Sowell

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