Jihadi videos “” including one depicting the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks “” were discovered on the phone of Jamshid Muhtorov, the Uzbek refugee accused in a terrorism case, newly filed court records show.
A prosecutor also asserts that Muhtorov may have misrepresented himself a human-rights activist and that he may have received refugee status on fake grounds.
Muhtorov, 35, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a group designated as a terrorist organization that has committed attacks on coalition forces overseas.
The Aurora resident, who fled his country after he and his family members suffered persecution there, has appealed a magistrate’s decision to deny him bond.
In their response to his appeal, prosecutors said Muhtorov is a dangerous man who does not deserve bond.
Muhtorov’s attorney, Rick Williamson declined to comment on the allegations.
Muhtorov was arrested in January at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport while on his way to Istanbul, Turkey from Colorado. When questioned by the FBI, he denied he is a terrorist and said he was traveling to visit family in central Asia.
“The defendant’s argument that no evidence has been proffered to show the defendant intended to work for the IJU as personnel is simply wrong,” prosecutor Greg Holloway wrote in the court record. “The complaint itself states that Muhtorov reached out to the IJU point of contact Abu Muhammad to volunteer his services, including swearing his Bay’ah to the group.”
A Bay’ah is an oath of allegiance.
Holloway also attacked the defense’s submission to the court showing Muhtorov had a documented record of human rights activism in Uzbekistan.
“The validity of information contained in such reports is questionable at best,” the response says.
Holloway writes that some online articles say Muhtorov was an “opportunist who was dismissed from the Ezgulik Human Rights Society because he supported violent extremism.”
Another, Holloway wrote, “claims the defendant acted as an informant for Uzbek intelligence and received refugee status on fake grounds.”
The government in its filing claims it has two witnesses who say Muhtorov ascribed to violent, extremist beliefs and submitted interviews the FBI conducted with those witnesses to the court. The interviews are under seal.
According to the filing, one of the witnesses told agents Muhtorov hit his wife in a fight over money. The witness took a photo of his wife’s injury as proof.
Another witness told the FBI that Muhtorov threatened to kill his wife after she stayed overnight in the witness’ home.
Holloway also documented details of the videos he says were found on Muhtorov’s phone following his arrest in Chicago.
Nine Jihadi videos were also submitted to the court under seal, the records show. Some of the videos are graphic beheadings, prosecutors say.
“Many of these videos bear the flag of al-Qaeda,” Holloway wrote. “The videos show a variety of terrorist actions against what appear to be Coalition Forces.”
Muhtorov is not accused of planning an attack on U.S. soil and prosecutors have not yet indicated whether he was planning a specific attack overseas.
The case against Muhtorov is complex because of his history in Uzbekistan. His sister is jailed there on an allegedly false murder charge and his brother also fled the country into Kazakhstan.
The IJU not only has a record of attacks on coalition forces, but also fights Uzbekistan’s regime leading some to surmise that any association with the group did not necessarily mean Muhtorov intended to attack NATO and U.S. forces overseas.