FBI: Port Richmond man funded terror group
PHILADELPHIA - March 15, 2012 (WPVI) -- Federal authorities have arrested a Port Richmond resident and charged him with providing material support and resources to a terrorist organization based in Uzbekistan.
Bakhtiyor Jumaev, 45, of the 3100 block of Richmond Street, is charged with funneling money to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a fundamentalist group opposed to the secular government in Uzbekistan, and is said to be responsible for attacks on Americans in Afghanistan.
RELATED: See the court documents
The group has been linked to the 2004 suicide bombing attacks on the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Uzbekistan. The U.S. government designed the IJU a terrorist organization in 2005.
Jumaev's arrest Thursday morning follows the January 21st arrest of an alleged co-conspirator, Jamshid Muhtorov, at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
In court documents, the FBI says it monitored mobile phone conversations between Jumaev and Muhtorov between February 2010 and January 2012.The authorities have charged the Philadelphia man with conspiring with Jamshid Muhtorov to provide material support to a known terrorist group in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan.
The FBI says the men discussed planned terrorist attacks in Uzbekistan, code named "weddings." The conversations also allegedly included references to money raised and funneled overseas in support of attacks.A federal affidavit states that after Jumaev sent $300 to support the group's activities. He asked Muhtorov if he received "The Wedding Gift". And when, the terror group expressed concern that he had not yet arrived with the gifts, Muhtorov told them not to worry, he will come to "The Wedding".
Court documents also describe terrorist videos and other incriminating material found on Jumaev's computers, which were seized from his Port Richmond home last month.
If convicted, Jumaev faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, and up to a $250,000 fine.
Jumaev made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, where he was advised of his rights and the charges pending against him.
Authorities say that this case demonstrates to the American public how someone involved in terrorist activities could be living right next door.
No one in the neighborhood was aware of the suspect's activities, and had it not been for the diligent work of federal authorities in Philadelphia and Colorado lives could have been lost.
The row home in the 3100 block of Richmond where 45 year old Bakhtiyor Jumaev lived looked innocuous enough not to arouse suspicion of any terrorist activity. But then again neighbors say, neither did the suspect.
"This guy if you saw him looked very normal. You wouldn't even have thought anything. You'd walk by he'd say Hi, never even know it," said Debbie Pellegrino.
"I'm really shocked cause I thought the guy was a nice guy, always used to talk to me, always social to me, and it's hard for me to believe," said neighbor Bob Ross."What we have again is an example of the use of the internet, use of coded messages and material support on behalf of terrorist's activities supporting the activities in another country connecting back to here in the United States," said Rep. Pat Meehan. Muhtorov was arrested at O'hare Airport in Chicago carrying $2,800 before boarding a plane overseas. Jumaev was arrested at his apartment Thursday morning by federal agents. His computer and other material were seized. "You never know whose going to be living next door to you," said Debbie Pellegrino. "It does bother me a lot. It's scary, it really is." Jumaev appeared in federal court Thursday morning. If convicted he faces a maximum of 15 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, port richmond, terrorism, local/state, dann cuellar
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