A man serving a 25-year sentence for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism against the United States was sentenced to another 20 years Monday after trying to kill a Victorville prison warden with a homemade shank, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
During a hearing on Monday, Fazliddin Kurbanov admitted to using a shank he made himself to try slitting the throat of the warden at the Federal Correctional Institute-II two years earlier, federal prosecutors said.
The admission was made as part of a plea deal. Kurbanov, 36, pleaded guilty to attempted murder of a federal officer on March 13, according to the DOJ.
Speaking through an interpreter at the hearing, Kurbanov, a Uzbek national, said he was not sorry for committing the brutal assault, federal prosecutors said. He said the warden, who suffered serious injuries and has since been transferred to a different prison, was supposed to die.
He also “expressed extreme animosity toward the United States,” federal prosecutors said in a news release.
When the attack occurred on May 31, 2016, the then-warden was standing in a dining facility near the serving line, according to a plea agreement cited by the Los Angeles Times. While armed with a roughly 4-inch homemade shank, Kurbanov attacked the warden from behind — wrapping his arm around the man’s neck as he used the other arm to try slitting his throat, the plea agreement said.
While Kurbanov was unable to penetrate the warden’s throat, he managed to slash the shank across the left side of his body, the Times reported. The wound extended from his armpit to the hip bone and required about 80 staples to be closed.
The former Victorville prison warden was left with “permanent disfiguring scar and sharp pains most likely caused by nerve damage,” the Times reported.
At the time of attempted killing, Kurbanov was an inmate who had been convicted of conspiring with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a terrorist group based in his native country.
According to federal prosecutors, Kurbanov started communicating with a person operating a website for the terrorist group in the summer of 2012. He discussed his “animosity toward Americans, particularly the military,” prosecutors said in a news release.
While naming U.S. targets such as military bases in Idaho and Texas and West Point Military Academy in New York, he expressed his desire to build and set off a bomb, prosecutors said. He asked for instructions on how to make the explosive device himself — even acquiring the materials to do so.
The website administrator told Kurbanov to get an anti-virus software that would protect the terrorist group’s website and obtain and provide any amount of money, prosecutors said. Afterward, Kurbanov got his brother overseas to send the software.
Just before being arrested in May 2013, Kurbanov also tried funneling money back to the terrorist group.
Beginning in November 2012 until his arrest, he got ahold of several bomb-making materials and chemicals — ammunition containing smokeless powder, a hollow hand grenade and aluminum powder, among others. FBI special agents came across the bomb-making materials during court-authorized searches of his apartment in 2012 and 2013.
“The worst of intentions on the part of Mr. Kurbanov, that is the mass killing of Americans, were thwarted by the best of collaboration on the part of the entire law enforcement community,” Eric Barnhart, an FBI special agent, said in a news release.
On Monday, Judge Virginia A. Phillips gave Kurbanov the maximum possible sentence as she said he remains an extreme danger, according to a DOJ news release. Once he completes both his 25-year sentence for terrorism charges and the extra 20 years attacking the warden, he will be on lifetime supervised release.
Numerous prior posts with more details on the Uzbek jihad refugee in our archives.