A 45-year-old Philadelphia resident was detained in the United States on suspicion of supporting a terrorist group from Uzbekistan, to whom he allegedly donated $300, local authorities said.
Bakhtiyor Jumaev stands accused of providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a splinter of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is waging a terrorist campaign to overthrow the secular regime in Uzbekistan, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Colorado, which pressed the charges, said in a press release on Thursday.
Jumaev sent $300 to the group through Jamshid Muhtorov, who was detained in January on similar charges, according to court documents. Muhtorov, who was held at Chicago airport, said upon detention that he was flying to Pakistan to join Islamic Jihad Union’s forces there.
Jumaev faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 over the case. It remained unclear whether he plans to plead guilty or deny the allegations.
The Islamic Jihad Union, active since 2001, was linked to a failed plot to blow up the international airport in Frankfurt-am-Mein in Germany in 2007 and attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan in 2008-2009.
Some German media and Uzbek activists alleged that the Islamic Jihad Union could have been covertly established by Uzbek secret services to help the country’s authoritarian government get on the good side of the Western anti-terrorism coalition. Nevertheless, the Islamic Jihad Union has been officially recognized a terrorist organization by the United States since 2005.
Another Uzbek native, Ulugbek Kodirov, is currently on trial in Alabama on charges of plotting to kill U.S. President Barack Obama. The case is unrelated to Jumaev’s, but Kodirov is also accused of sympathizing with Islamic terrorists.