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Man with Utah ties who helped Islamic group allegedly attacked prison warden

Fazliddin Kurbanov.
Fazliddin Kurbanov.
Idaho State Police

SALT LAKE CITY — A man with Utah ties who is behind bars for supporting an Islamic terrorist group now faces an attempted murder charge for allegedly attacking a federal prison warden.

Fazliddin Kurbanov, 34, used a prison-made knife to attack warden Calvin Johnson at the federal prison in Victorville, California, on May 31, 2016, federal authorities say. Johnson, who is now working at another federal penitentiary, was seriously injured but has recovered.

A federal grand jury handed down a three-count indictment last week charging Kurbanov with attempted murder of a federal officer, assault on a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and possession by an inmate of a prohibited object intended to be used as a weapon.

Kurbanov, an Uzbek national who was living in Boise, Idaho, is serving a 25-year sentence for conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessing an unregistered destructive device.

Federal authorities said in 2013 that Kurbanov supplied money, software and training to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the U.S. government identifies as a foreign terrorist group that aimed to overthrow the Uzbek regime and establish an Islamic state.

In Utah, he showed internet videos, led shopping trips, provided written recipes and gave instructions on where to obtain components to build and use improvised explosive devices, according federal officials.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah in 2013 charged Kurbanov with distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the case after he dropped the appeal of his conviction in Idaho.