The bumbling jihadi? Alleged terror backer guessed FBI was listening.
An Uzbekistan man living in Denver has been charged with supporting an overseas terror group. At one point, court documents show, he openly cursed the FBI agents he assumed were listening to his phone call with an apparent terrorist contact.
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Federal agents suspect Mr. Muhtorov was on his way to volunteer for a mission or missions to help the Islamic Jihad Union, an Uzbekistan-based militant group seeking to establish a government based on Islamic law.
Court documents filed in the case read at times more like a slapstick comedy than a deadly serious terror operation. The suspect and an alleged overseas terror contact overuse the word “wedding” as a code word, and at one point jointly curse the FBI agents who they believe – correctly – are monitoring their every utterance.
At one point, Muhtorov’s wife threatens to take their children from Denver and go live with her mother – in Kygyzstan.
When he tells her she must choose between her mother or him, she accuses him of choosing the alleged mission in Turkey over his wife and children.
Ultimately, the seriousness of the case is crystal clear. Last summer, according to an FBI affidavit, Muhtorov “told his young daughter that he would never see her again; but, if she was a good Muslim girl, he will see her in heaven.”
The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) has claimed responsibility for suicide-type bombings, including simultaneous attacks in July 2004 on the US and Israeli embassies and the Uzbekistani Prosecutor General’s Office in Tashkent.
The IJU is believed to have trained with and provided support to Al Qaeda. It has been listed since 2005 as a US-designated terror group.
According to court documents, federal agents have been watching Muhtorov for the past year after he contacted the administrator of a pro-IJU website.
They have also been monitoring his e-mail contacts with someone code named “Abu Muhammad,” who officials suspect is an IJU facilitator.
In March 2011, three days after an e-mail exchange between Muhtorov and Abu Muhammad, Muhtorov received a telephone call from someone identified in court documents only as “a known associate.”