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Press Release

Defendant Charged With Conspiring And Attempting To Provide Material Support To ISIL

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Allegedly Contributed Funds to Send a Co-Conspirator Overseas to Join ISIL and to Finance the Purchase of a Firearm Once the Co-Conspirator Arrived in Syria

Earlier today, a superseding indictment was unsealed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Azizjon Rakhmatov with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and conspiring to use a firearm.  The defendant, who is charged with four others whose arrests and indictments have previously been announced, is scheduled to be arraigned at 2:00 p.m. today before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.

The charges were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Diego G. Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office; William J. Bratton, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD); and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York.

As alleged in the third superseding indictment and other court filings, the investigation began when Abdurasul Juraboev, one of Rakhmatov’s co-conspirators, came to the attention of law enforcement.  Juraboev posted on an Uzbek-language website that propagates ISIL’s ideology his offer to engage in an act of martyrdom on U.S. soil on behalf of ISIL, such as killing the President of the United States.  The investigation subsequently revealed that Juraboev and another co-defendant, Akhror Saidakhmetov, planned to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of waging violent jihad on behalf of ISIL.  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 previously purchased a plane ticket to travel from New York to Istanbul and was scheduled to leave the United States in March 2015.  Rakhmatov and three other co-defendants – Abror Habibov, Dilkhayot Kasimov, and Akmal Zakirov – are charged with funding Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIL.  Juraboev pleaded guilty on August 14, 2015, to conspiring to provide material support to ISIL.

As alleged in the third superseding indictment and other court filings, Rakhmatov helped to fund Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIL.  Specifically, Rakhmatov and Habibov discussed providing their own money to cover Saidakhmetov’s travel expenses and to purchase a firearm for Saidakhmetov once he arrived in Syria.  Rakhmatov also agreed to raise money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel.  In the week leading up to Saidakhmetov’s scheduled departure, Rakhmatov transferred money into Zakirov’s personal bank account, which funds were intended to facilitate Saidakhmetov’s travel to join ISIL.

If convicted, Rakhmatov faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.  The charges in the superseding 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, and Peter W. Baldwin are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Reynolds of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut and Trial Attorney Danya Atiyeh of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

The Defendant:

Age:  28
Nationality: Uzbeki

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 15-CR-95 (S-3)

Updated September 1, 2016

Firearms Offenses
National Security