Another Muslim “student” from abroad has been sentenced to a lengthy term in prison.
This time, it is a 22-year-old native of Uzbekistan, one of the many “stan” countries northeast of Iran and south of Russia. He landed in the United States June 19, 2009 on a student visa, but became an illegal alien because he did not leave the country when the government revoked his visa after learning he did not re-enroll in school.
Ulugbek Kodirov’s crime? He threatened to kill the president — four times.
Committed to Jihad
Kodirov’s plan for mayhem began in July 2011 when he met with FBI informants in Birmingham, Alabama, with a plea for help in assassinating President Barack Obama. He sought rifles and explosives and hoped to kill Obama with a sniper shot.
His journey to federal prison began with conversations he had on the Internet. In early July 2011, the plea states, the Muslim “student” began conversations with an individual he met on the Internet that eventually evolved into conversations on the telephone. He told the individual, known as Individual 1 in the plea, that he knew a person called “the Emir,” who is a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The State Department has designated the group a terrorist organization.
Kodirov told Individual 1 that the Emir wanted to kill President Obama and that the Emir asked Kodirov to do it. The plea states:
KODIROV discussed with Individual #1 possible ways to kill President Obama, including shooting the President from a long distance using a sniper rifle.
On Sunday, July 10, 2011, KODIROV sent a YouTube message to Individual #1, which contained several links to web pages about long-range sniper rifles, including .50 caliber sniper rifles. Later that same day, KODIROV called Individual #1 and they talked for about an hour. During that conversation, KODIROV asked Individual #1 if he had seen the web links to the sniper rifles. KODIROV asked if it was possible to shoot President Obama from a long distance using these weapons.
KODIROV became disheartened when he learned how expensive the sniper rifles were. They also talked about KODIROV not having the training necessary to make a long distance shot. KODIROV said that if using the sniper rifle was not an option, then KODIROV could shoot the President from a closer distance when the President was in public. KODIROV said that he did not care if he got shot and killed, so long as he killed President Obama. Late on the evening of Monday, July 11, 2011, Individual #1 called KODIROV and told him he wanted to come to Birmingham to meet him.
In the spring of 2011, Kodirov met Individual 2, the plea says. They “viewed jihadist websites and jihadist videos on KODIROV's laptop computer” at Kodirov’s residence. “KODIROV also told Individual #2 that he wanted to assist others in jihad overseas.” On July 11, they went to a mosque for prayer, after which “Individual #2 spoke with KODIROV in the parking lot.” The plea continues:
KODIROV asked Individual #2 if he could obtain a gun for him. KODIROV said that he would take any gun, but he really wanted a sniper rifle. Individual #2 asked KODIROV why he wanted a rifle. KODIROV said that he wanted to kill President Obama. Individual #2 asked KODIROV if he was serious and KODIROV said that he (KODIROV) knew this was what he was supposed to do for Islam. KODIROV asked Individual #2 if he was willing to help him plan the operation to kill the President. KODIROV said he preferred to shoot the President from far away, but would shoot him from close range if he had to.
Late in the evening on July 12, Kodirov met Individual 1, who had traveled to Birmingham to meet Kodirov, at the airport. They spent the night at Kodirov’s residence, the plea says, where they “discussed various methods of assassinating the President, including shooting the President from long range with a sniper rifle or shooting him from close range with a handgun.”
They discussed how the President would be campaigning in the coming weeks and months and would be more accessible. KODIROV discussed acquiring and using various types of weapons, including guns and explosives. KODIROV said that he was ready to die to carry out the plan to kill the President.
Individual 1 told the would-be assassin that he would introduce him to someone, Individual 3 in the plea, who could help his plan, the plea says. They met on July 13. “During their meeting, KODIROV again expressed his desire to kill the President,” with Kodirov telling the third contact that “he was willing to die to carry out the plan."
The third individual showed up with a fully automatic rifle, a sniper rifle with a telescopic sight, and four grenades, the plea says, noting:
They discussed how to use each firearm, how they might be used to kill the President, and the advantages and disadvantages of using each firearm. Individual #3 told KODIROV that he had something else which KODIROV might want to use. Individual #3 then brought out a small hard sided cooler which contained 4 disassembled hand grenades which he showed to KODIROV. Individual #3 demonstrated how to assemble and use the hand grenades. He then had KODIROV demonstrate to him that he (KODIROV) knew how to assemble the hand grenades. Individual #3 asked KODIROV if he would like to use any of the items to carry out his plan to kill the President. KODIROV indicated that he wanted the fully automatic Sendra Corporation Model M15A1 rifle and the hand grenades.
Federal authorities arrested the “student” on July 14, 2011, eventually charging him with seven crimes, most notably threatening the president four times, on July 9, 10, 11, and 13. He was indicted in August, 2011.
In exchange for the jihadist’s admission of guilt on one count of threatening the president, “providing material support to a terrorist” and “possession of a firearm by an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States,” the government dropped charges of unlawfully possessing explosives and a fully automatic weapon.
Kodirov signed the plea on January 10.
On July 13, nearly a year to the day after the illegal alien’s arrest, a federal judge sentenced him to 15 years and eight months for his crimes.
Second Foreign Muslim Caught
Kodirov is not the only Muslim student the authorities have caught trying to perpetrate mayhem in the United States. In June, 22-year-old Saudi “student,” Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, financed by a company owned by the Saudi royal family, was convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He will be sentenced in September.
He was collared after two companies notified the FBI that he was attempting to purchase chemicals used in bomb making. He wanted to destroy nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams and to assassinate military officials.
He began his academic career at Vanderbilt University, eventually landing at South Plains College in Lubbock, Texas.
Said Aldawsari, “One operation in the land of the infidels is equal to ten operations against occupying forces in the land of the Muslims.”
Photos: (Left) A photo provided by the Shelby County, Ala., Sheriff's Dept. shows 22-year-old Ulegbek Kodirov, who is scheduled for a hearing Feb. 10, 2012 in Birmingham, Ala.: AP Images; (right) White House portrait of President Obama