WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Two citizens of Uzbekistan and one citizen of Kazakhstan, all residing in New York City, were arrested on Wednesday on charges of attempting to join the Islamic state (ISIL) terrorist organization, the US Department of Justice announced in a statement.
Three Brooklyn Residents Charged with Attempt and Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL http://t.co/TNZPdmUpiB— FBI (@FBI) February 25, 2015
"Earlier today, a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov, and Abror Habibov with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization," the release read.
According to the statement, Habibov and Juraboev are citizens of Uzbekistan, and Saidakhmetov is a citizen of Kazakhstan.
Juraboev came to the attention of US law enforcement in August 2014, which followed an Uzbek-language website that propagated Islamic State ideology, according to the criminal complaint against him. Juraboev was arrested at the John F. Kennedy International Airport trying to board a flight to Turkey.
"The investigation subsequently revealed that Juraboev and Saidakhmetov devised a plan to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of waging jihad on behalf of ISIL," the US Justice Department said.
"Habibov, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan, helped fund Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIL," it added.
The complaint also said that Juraboev was prepared to engage in an act of terrorism in the United States if ordered to do so by the ISIL, while Saidakhmetov intended to do such an act if unable to travel abroad to join the ISIL.
"In the August 2014 posting on the website propagating ISIL ideology, Juraboev offered to kill the President of the United States if ordered to do so by ISIL," the statement said, adding that recently, Saidakhmetov expressed his intent to buy a machine gun and shoot police officers and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents if prevented to join the ISIL in Syria.
"If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison," US Department of Justice said in a statement, adding that the charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The initial court appearances of the arrested are scheduled for Wednesday.