Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Azizjon Rakhmatov, a citizen of Uzbekistan and a resident of New Haven, Connecticut, was sentenced to 12 ½ years’ imprisonment by United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II, for conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). In August 2019, Rakhmatov pleaded guilty to the charge. The U.S. government intends to seek the defendant’s removal to Uzbekistan upon completion of his sentence of imprisonment.
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Dermot F. Shea, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.
“Today’s sentence demonstrates that there are significant consequences for those who support terrorism.” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme. “The investigation and prosecution of Rakhmatov and his co-conspirators are the result of this Office’s unwavering commitment, along with our outstanding partners on the New York Joint Terrorist Task Force, to detect, disrupt and neutralize any individual or group that is under the mistaken impression that violence is a legitimate means to effect political change, here or abroad. Once again, we have rooted out ISIS’s supporters, methods and means, and prevented ISIS from carrying out its abhorrent extremist agenda.”
According to court filings, in 2014, Rakhmatov’s co-defendants Abdurasul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhmetov planned to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIS. Rakhmatov and co-defendant Abror Habibov discussed providing their own money to cover Saidakhmetov’s travel expenses and to purchase a firearm for Saidakhmetov once he arrived in Syria. Rakhmatov also agreed to collect money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel. On the day before Saidakhmetov’s scheduled departure, Rakhmatov transferred $400 into co-defendant Akmal Zakirov’s personal bank account to facilitate Saidakhmetov’s travel to and expenses in Syria. Co-conspirator Dilkhayot Kasimov also agreed to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel and brought the group’s money to Saidakhmetov at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Juraboev, Saidakahmetov, Habibov and Zakirov have previously pleaded guilty, and Kasimov was convicted at trial in September 2019. Juraboev and Saidakahmetov each were sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. Kasimov, Habibov and Zakirov are awaiting sentencing.