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Boise, Idaho • He was a Russian-speaking truck driver who came to Idaho in 2009 to join hundreds of other Uzbekistan refugees for whom the state has become a sanctuary from violence in their home country.
But federal officials say in an indictment that Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, also was teaching people to build bombs that would target public transportation. For 10 days in January, court documents state, Kurbanov was in Utah to teach and demonstrate how to make an "explosive, destructive device and weapon of mass destruction."
It's unclear whether the alleged targets were domestic or foreign or how far Kurbanov would have gone. Prosecutors said Friday only that they believe he is no longer a threat because he was arrested Thursday during a raid of his apartment in Boise.
Prosecutors charged him with felonies in Idaho and Utah after an extensive investigation into his activities late last year and this year. They allege those activities included assisting a militant group in his home, Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country with a southern border with Afghanistan.
That group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, has been identified by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. The group's purpose is to overthrow the Uzbekistan government, said David B. Barlow, U.S. attorney in Utah. The alleged co-conspirators were not named.
The Utah indictment, to be handled separately after the Idaho prosecution is resolved, alleges Kurbanov provided recipes for how to make improvised explosive devices and went on instructional shopping trips in Utah to help illustrate how to make the devices.