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U.S. Sentences Man To Seven Years For Supporting Uzbek Radical Group

Leader of Islamic movement of Uzbekistan Usman Ghazi.
Leader of Islamic movement of Uzbekistan Usman Ghazi.

U.S. prosecutors said they have sentenced a Dutch-Turkish citizen to seven years in jail for providing support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a designated terrorist group.

The sentencing on December 20 came after Irfan Demirtas pleaded guilty in September to charges that he acted as a fund-raiser and facilitator for the group from 2006 and 2008 in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Jordan, the Netherlands, France, and elsewhere.

Demirtas, 58, was arrested in Germany last year and extradited to the United States. His plea agreement requires him to be deported after he serves his jail sentence.

U.S. prosecutors gave him credit for serving 62 months in jail in France.

Prosecutors said the Uzbek militant group was formed in 1991 with the goal of overthrowing the government of Uzbekistan and creating an Islamic state governed by Shari'a law.

The Uzbek group has conducted military operations in Uzbekistan and Pakistan and fought against coalition forces in Afghanistan. It was designated a terrorist group in September 2001.