Fazliddin Kurbanov faces up to 40 years in prison was found guilty Tuesday of federal charges of conspiracy, possession of an unregistered destructive device and providing support to terrorists. He faces up to 40 years in prison.
A federal jury of eight women and four men reached the unanimous verdict late Wednesday afternoon during their second full day of deliberation. Jurors found Kurbanov not guilty on two other conspiracy charges.
Kurbanov did not react when the verdict was read. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Lucoff, who helped prosecute the case, told reporters afterward that he felt jurors were persuaded of Kurbanov’s guilt through:
• Evidence of extensive online conversations between Kurbanov and an agent of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a U.S.-recognized terrorist organization.
• His viewing and sharing of terrorist videos on his Facebook and YouTube accounts.
• Recorded conversations with an FBI informant at a Salt Lake City truck-driving school that Kurbanov attended.
“That was good evidence of his intent,” Lucoff said.
Kurbanov was unable to explain some of his actions when he took the witness stand in his defense, Lucoff said. “We did feel we scored points there,” he said.
Defense attorney Chuck Peterson said he plans to appeal the verdict to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We wish the decision would have been different,” Peterson said. “My client was thankful of how the system treated him and that he got to tell his story.”
The prosecution alleged Kurbanov, 33 planned a terrorist attack that could eclipse the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. The defense denied that there was a conspiracy to carry out a bombing of a military base or other targets and denied that Kurbanov committed any crimes.
“He denied that he planned to do anything against the American people,” Peterson said.
U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson said the jury’s acquittal of Kurbanov on the two charges showed that jurors took their responsibilities seriously and closely evaluated each of the charges. Despite the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, “their decisions were based on the evidence and not on fear,” Olson said.
Lawyers for both sides shook hands with each other as the court adjourned.
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge set sentencing for Tuesday, Nov. 10.