Defendant Charged with Conspiring and Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS
Defendant Allegedly Contributed Funds to Send a Co-Conspirator Overseas to Join ISIS
Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging Dilshod Khusanov with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and al-Nusrah Front, both designated foreign terrorist organizations. The defendant, arrested earlier this morning in Villa Park, Illinois, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman at the U.S. Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois.
The charges were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Dana J. Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office, Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chicago Field Office, and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD).
“Those who seek to fight for foreign terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Nusrah Front cannot accomplish their goal without financial support,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde. “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will work tirelessly to identify and hold accountable individuals like the defendant who provide such financial support, as well as to eliminate such support.” Ms. Rohde expressed her gratitude to the Chicago FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Chicago Police Department, and the Illinois State Police for their assistance during the investigation.
“As alleged, Khusanov conspired to provide funding enabling multiple terrorists to attempt travel to Syria to join groups like ISIS or al-Nusrah. The FBI has a long history of successfully targeting not only the associates of criminal groups, but also group leadership,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “This case is no different. It demonstrates the Joint Terrorism Task Force’s unwavering commitment to arresting and convicting both those seeking to join terrorist groups and those who conspire to support their efforts.”
“This is the latest example of the work the Joint Terrorism Task Force does every day in New York City to protect us from those seeking to join terrorist organizations or fund their operations,” said Police Commissioner O’Neill. “I’m thankful to the work by the detectives, agents, and prosecutors whose work on this case—and many like it—led to today’s arrest.”
As alleged in the indictment and other court filings, Khusanov belonged to a group of like-minded individuals who provided financial support for persons in the United States to travel to Syria to join ISIS or al-Nusrah Front. Four other members of this support group and two persons who attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS have been indicted in a separate related case. The investigation began when Abdurasul Juraboev, one of Khusanov’s co-conspirators, came to the attention of law enforcement. Juraboev posted on an Uzbek-language website that propagates ISIS’s ideology his offer to engage in an act of martyrdom on U.S. soil on behalf of ISIS, such as killing then-President of the United States Barack Obama. The investigation subsequently revealed that Juraboev and another co-conspirator, Akhror Saidakhmetov, planned to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of waging violent jihad on behalf of ISIS. Saidakhmetov was arrested on February 25, 2015, at John F. Kennedy International Airport where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Juraboev had previously purchased a plane ticket to travel from New York to Istanbul and was scheduled to leave the United States in March 2015. Abror Habibov, Dilkhayot Kasimov, Azizjon Rakhmatov, and Akmal Zakirov were charged in the related case with funding Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIS. Juraboev pleaded guilty on August 14, 2015; Saidakhmetov pleaded guilty on January 19, 2017; and Habibov pleaded guilty on August 29, 2017 – all to charges of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.
As alleged in the indictment and other court filings, Khusanov helped to fund the efforts of Saidakhmetov and others to join ISIS or al-Nusrah Front. In particular, Khusanov and Zakirov discussed providing their own money to cover Saidakhmetov’s travel expenses. Khusanov also agreed to raise money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel. In the week leading up to Saidakhmetov’s scheduled departure, Khusanov transferred money into Zakirov’s personal bank account, which funds were intended to facilitate Saidakhmetov’s travel to join ISIS. Khusanov and others also provided financial assistance for other persons from the United States to join either ISIS or al-Nusrah Front.
If convicted, Khusanov faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security & Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon, Douglas M. Pravda, Peter W. Baldwin, and David K. Kessler are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Assistant United States Attorneys Barry Jonas and Peter Flanagan of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, and Trial Attorney Steven Ward of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-475 (WFK)