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Uzbek refugee arrested in Chicago, charged with terrorism support

A refugee from Uzbekistan has been arrested in Chicago and charged with providing support to a suspected Islamic terrorist group that U.S. authorities say is seeking to overthrow the secular government of his Central Asian home country.

Jasmshid Muhtorov, 35, who resides in Colorado, was taken into custody on Saturday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport by FBI agents and made his initial court appearance in federal court on Monday, the U.S. Justice Department said.

A criminal complaint charging him with providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization was unsealed on Monday in federal court in Denver.

Court documents filed in the case said Muhtorov indicated that he planned to travel overseas to fight on behalf of the Islamic Jihad Union, a Pakistan-based extremist group that opposes secular rule in Uzbekistan and seeks to replace the current regime there with a government based on Islamic law.

Federal prosecutors said his arrest, capping a "long-term investigation," highlights "the continued interest of extremists residing in the United States to join and support overseas terrorists."

If convicted of the charge against him, Muhtorov faces up to 15 years in prison.