Foreign National Sentenced to Over 21 Years for Mailing Ricin to President of the United States in 2020
Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 27, a citizen of Uzbekistan and resident of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Commissioner James P. O’Neill of the NYPD made the announcement, after sentencing by U.S. District Judge William F. Kuntz, II.
“The defendant had a clear desire to wage violence on behalf of ISIS, and was determined to do so, whether on U.S. soil or abroad,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente. “Thanks to the efforts of law enforcement, the defendant was stopped at JFK International Airport before his plans came to fruition, and with this sentence he will be held accountable. Stemming the flow of foreign fighters and defending our nation against the threat of terrorism remains the highest priority of the National Security Division.”
“Today’s sentence holds Juraboev to account for his plans to join ISIS and engage in violent jihad overseas or carry out a terrorist attack in the United States if he was unable to travel to Syria,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Rohde. “This Office will continue to work tirelessly in collaboration with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York to protect our city from terrorist attacks and prevent extremists from travelling abroad to join foreign terrorist organizations.”
“As a Brooklyn resident, Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev posted comments on an ISIS website in August 2014 about his desire to be a martyr and his willingness to kill President Obama,” stated Assistant Director in Charge Sweeney. “Over the next few months, Juraboev and his co-conspirators continued to ramp up their allegiance to the terrorist group by discussing travel to Syria and proposals to wage violent jihad here in the United States. Juraboev ultimately purchased a plane ticket to travel to Syria, an act in furtherance of his terrorist plans and intentions. Those plans were thwarted and ended with today’s sentence, resulting in serious prison time.”
“The defendant in this case lived in Brooklyn while making plans to travel to Syria to support a designed terrorist organization,” stated Commissioner O’Neill. “If that was not successful, the defendant schemed of bombing Coney Island or killing the President of the United States. My thanks to the detectives, agents, prosecutors and federal judge whose work resulted in today’s sentence.”
According to previous court filings, in August 2014, Juraboev posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS. In subsequent interviews by federal agents, Juraboev stated his belief in ISIS’s terrorist agenda, including the establishment by force of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Juraboev stated that he wanted to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIS but lacked the means to travel. He added that, if he were unable to travel, he would engage in an act of martyrdom on U.S. soil if ordered to do so by ISIS, such as killing the President or planting a bomb on Coney Island.
During the next several months, Juraboev and a co-conspirator discussed plans to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIS, culminating in Juraboev’s purchase on Dec. 27, 2014, of a ticket to travel from John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, to Istanbul, Turkey, on March 29, 2015.
The U.S. government intends to seek the defendant’s removal to Uzbekistan upon completion of his sentence of imprisonment.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander Solomon, Douglas M. Pravda, Peter W. Baldwin and David K. Kessler of the Eastern District of New York, and Trial Attorney Steven Ward of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case.