U.S. prosecutors seek to halt pretrial release of Uzbek terror suspect | Reuters

By Keith Coffman
| DENVER

DENVER Federal prosecutors appealed against a U.S. judge’s order on Tuesday allowing the release of a Colorado man held for more than five years while awaiting trial on charges of providing support to a suspected Islamist group in his native Uzbekistan.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver filed an emergency motion with the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the release of Jamshid Muhtorov.

The motion came four days after U.S. District Judge John Kane granted a motion by Muhtorov for his release pending his trial, which is set for early next year.

Muhtorov argued he should be given bail after repeated delays in the case violated his right to a speedy trial.

In their appeal, prosecutors said Muhtorov was “plainly a threat to the public and others,” and also posed a flight risk.

Muhtorov, 40, is accused of trying to smuggle smart phones and other electronic equipment to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a Pakistan-based extremist group that opposes secular rule in Uzbekistan and seeks to install a government based on Islamic law.

He is not a U.S. citizen but has legal immigration status as a political refugee from Uzbekistan, prosecutors said. Muhtorov has lived in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

He was arrested in January 2012 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport as he was attempting to board an overseas flight, according to an FBI arrest warrant affidavit.

The defendant had pledged allegiance to the IJU and promised to procure cash and satellite equipment for the group, prosecutors said.

“Given Muhtorov’s expressed desire to join the IJU and forward its mission of terrorism, he is also plainly a threat to the public and others under any form of release,” the government’s appellate motion said.

In agreeing to set bond conditions, Judge Kane said that, while Muhtorov’s purported jihadist views are “abhorrent,” he will have already spent six…

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