CHICAGO (CBS) — A Villa Park man has been arrested for allegedly conspiring to provide funding to three Brooklyn men who tried to travel to Syria to join terror groups ISIS and al-Nusrah Front, including a man who allegedly wanted to shoot then-President Barack Obama.
Dilshod Khusanov, 31, was arrested Thursday morning in Villa Park, according to federal prosecutors in New York, where the investigation began. He has been indicted on charges of 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 feds allege Khusanov – a native of Uzbekistan – was part of a group of people who provided financial support for others seeking to travel from the U.S. to Syria to join Isis or al-Nusrah. Six other people involved in the scheme were indicted earlier, and three of them have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.
Federal prosecutors said the investigation began in 2014, when Abdurasul Juraboev, one of Khusanov’s alleged co-conspirators, posted on an Uzbek-language website that he wanted to engage in an act of martyrdom in the U.S. on behalf of ISIS. Juraboev allegedly agreed to kill then-President Barack Obama if ordered to.
Juraboev allegedly plotted with Akhror Saidakhmetov to travel to Turkey and Syria to wage violent jihad on behalf of ISIS.
CBS New York reports Juraboev and Saidakhmetov lived together on East 10th Street in Midwood, Brooklyn, and worked together at a Middle Eastern fast food restaurant.
According to the feds, Juraboev posted the following message on an Uzbek website:
“Greetings! We too wanted to pledge our allegiance and commit ourselves while not present there. I am in USA now but we don’t have any arms. But is it possible to commit ourselves as dedicated martyrs anyway while here? What I’m saying is, to shoot Obama then get shot ourselves, will it do? That will strike fear in the hearts of infidels.”
Federal agents became aware of the message and tracked the IP address back to Juraboev’s Brooklyn home. When confronted by agents, Juraboev said he wanted to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS or attack Obama if he could, according to authorities.
Juraboev later said he didn’t have the means or plan to attack Obama, according to authorities.
Authorities said Juraboev also was willing to plant a bomb at Coney Island if ordered to do so.
Saidakhmetov was arrested in February 2015 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, as he was trying to travel to Turkey. According to the feds, Juraboev also had bought a plane ticket to Istanbul, and was scheduled to leave a month later.
The feds had arranged for a confidential informer to befriend the young men, and court documents said the informant recorded Saidakhmetov making a threat against law enforcement.
Saidakhmetov allegedly plotted to buy a machine gun and kill police officers and FBI agents if he was unable to join ISIS in Syria, authorities said.
“I will just go and buy a machine gun, AK-47, go out and shoot all police,” Saidakhmetov said, according to court records. “We will go and purchase one handgun, then go shoot one police officer. Boom. Then, we will take his gun, bullets and a bulletproof vest… then we will do the same with a couple of others. Then we will go to the FBI headquarters, kill the FBI people.”
The informant kept tabs on Juraboev and Saidakhmetov as they visited the travel agency and bought the tickets to Istanbul, authorities said. Saidakhmetov’s itinerary showed he was supposed to take off early Wednesday morning.
Four other men – Abror Habibov, Dilkhayot Kasimov, Azizjon Rakhmatov, and Akmal Zakirov – were charged with helping fund Saidakhmetov’s attempts to join ISIS.
Khusanov and Zakirov allegedly discussed providing their own money to cover Saidakhmetov’s travel expenses, according to the indictment against Khusanov. He also allegedly agreed to raise money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel, and transferred money into Zakirov’s personal bank account to facilitate Saidakhmetov’s attempt to join ISIS.
Juraboev, Saidakhmetov, and Habibov all have pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, according to federal prosecutors.
Khusanov was scheduled to appear for a detention hearing at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago on Sept. 7. If he is convicted, he would face up to 30 years in prison.