Guilty plea in Obama death plot

 

A man from Uzbekistan who pleaded guilty to plotting to kill US president Barack Obama with an automatic rifle claimed he was acting at the direction of an Islamic terror group in his home country.

Authorities said Ulugbek Kodirov had discussed trying to kill the president as he campaigned for re-election because he would be out in public more often.

Kodirov entered the plea during a hearing in Birmingham, Alabama before US District Judge Abdul K. Kallon, an Obama appointee.

Defence attorney Lance Bell said the 22-year-old Kodirov avoided a potential life sentence by pleading guilty.

He faces up to 30 years in prison, though Mr Bell expected Kodirov to receive about half that. The judge also told Kodirov that he will face deportation once he is released from prison.

Kodirov pleaded guilty to three counts: Threatening to kill the president, possessing an automatic weapon, and providing material support to terrorists. Four other charges were dropped as part of the deal.

Muslims in the Birmingham area who knew Kodirov were stunned to learn of his plans.

"I really didn't want to believe it," said Ashfaq Taufique, president of the Birmingham Islamic Society.

"I knew him. He attended mosque. He never demonstrated any radicalisation in his behaviour, his words."

US attorney Joyce Vance said members of the Islamic community assisted in the case against Kodirov.

The plea agreement says that in July 2011 Kodirov began communicating with a person known as "the Emir".

Kodirov said the person was a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which has been designated a terrorist organisation by the US State Department. The agreement does not reveal the identity of "the Emir" or say whether the government believes he actually is an Uzbek terrorist.

The Emir "asked Kodirov if there was anything Kodirov could do about President Obama since Kodirov was closer geographically to the president than the Emir".

Kodirov and the person discussed possible ways to kill Obama, including from long distance using a sniper rifle.

The agreement says Kodirov became disheartened when he realised how expensive sniper rifles are and realised he lacked the skill to pull off the shot. Kodirov then decided he could shoot the president from a closer distance in public.

"Kodirov said that he did not care if he got shot and killed, as long as he killed President Obama," according to the plea deal.

Kodirov then struck up a friendship with another person in Birmingham who spoke Uzbek, and the two often attended mosque together. The two often looked at jihadist websites and videos on Kodirov's laptop, the agreement says.

On July 11, after the two went to a mosque in Birmingham to pray, Kodirov asked his friend to buy a gun for him so he could kill Mr Obama.

Kodirov told the person he "knew this was what he was supposed to do for Islam", the plea agreement says.

Mr Bell, the defence lawyer, said Kodirov regrets what happened and "accepted responsibility for the charges he pled guilty to".

Kodirov, who was arrested in July, was accused of making four separate threats against Mr Obama within a five-day period when he was meeting either with a witness who went to police or an undercover officer.

Ms Vance, the prosecutor, said Kodirov's threats were serious enough that law enforcement officers felt they had to intervene.

"He had developed a plan, he was reaching out to other individuals for aid and acquiring firepower necessary to kill the president," Ms Vance said.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
News
Lars Ulrich of Metallica performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
music
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Charge Accountant

£20,000 - £22,000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Property Management Grou...

Head of Sales, London

£70 - 95K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Milton Keynes

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Bristol

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game