VILLA PARK, IL — A man was arrested in Villa Park Thursday morning and charged with conspiring and attempting to provide support to ISIS and al-Nusrah Front, both foreign terrorist organizations. According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Dilshod Khusanov, 31, will be arraigned Thursday afternoon in Chicago on the charges. The Justice Department said Khusanov’s nationality is Uzbekistan.
Khusanov is accused of allegedly conspiring to provide funding enabling multiple terrorists to attempt to travel to Syria to join groups like ISIS or al-Nusrah, according to the Department of Justice.
“Those who seek to fight for foreign terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Nusrah Front cannot accomplish their goal without financial support,” Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde, said in a release. “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will work tirelessly to identify and hold accountable individuals like the defendant who provide such financial support, as well as to eliminate such support.”
Khusanov allegedly belonged to a group of like-minded individuals who provided financial support for people in the U.S. to travel to Syria to join terrorist groups. Four other members of this support group and two persons who attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS have been indicted in a separate related case, the Department of Justice said.
The investigation began when Abdurasul Juraboev, one of Khusanov’s co-conspirators, came to the attention of law enforcement, according to the release. Juraboev posted on an Uzbek-language website that propagates ISIS’s ideology and offered to engage in an act of martyrdom on U.S. soil on behalf of ISIS, such as killing then-President Barack Obama. That investigation subsequently revealed that Juraboev and another co-conspirator, Akhror Saidakhmetov, planned to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of waging violent jihad on behalf of ISIS, the Department of Justice said.
Saidakhmetov was arrested on Feb. 25, 2015, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Juraboev had previously purchased a plane ticket to travel from New York to Istanbul and was scheduled to leave the U.S. in March 2015. Abror Habibov, Dilkhayot Kasimov, Azizjon Rakhmatov, and Akmal Zakirov were charged in the related case with funding Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIS. Juraboev pleaded guilty on Aug. 14, 2015; Saidakhmetov pleaded guilty on Jan. 19, 2017; and Habibov pleaded guilty on Aug. 29, 2017 – all to charges of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.
In Khusanov’s case, he allegedly helped to fund the efforts of Saidakhmetov and others to join ISIS or al-Nusrah Front. In particular, Khusanov and Zakirov discussed providing their own money to cover Saidakhmetov’s travel expenses, according to the Department of Justice. Khusanov also agreed to raise money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel. In the week leading up to Saidakhmetov’s scheduled departure, Khusanov transferred money into Zakirov’s personal bank account, which funds were intended to facilitate Saidakhmetov’s travel to join ISIS.
If convicted, Khusanov faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.