BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A 22-year old Uzbekistan national, who had been living in Shelby County on an expired student visa, pleaded guilty this afternoon to charges that include providing material support for terrorism in connection with a plot to kill President Barack Obama.Full plea agreement (in Uzbekistan they would call it a "Confession") PDF here.
Ulugbek Kodirov, wearing an orange Shelby County Jail jumpsuit and shackled at his feet, pleaded guilty in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon at the Hugo L. Black U.S. Courthouse in downtown Birmingham.
Kodirov entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorneys Office.
A prosecutor read from the agreement, telling the judge that Kodirov told others that he was in contact with a man called "the Emir" who Kodirov said was connected with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan -- considered by the US as a terrorist group. Kodirov also told an individual that he was willing to die in order to kill the president.
He agreed to plead to two of five counts in a previous indictment -- making a threat to kill the president and a person illegally in the country being in possession of a firearm. He also agreed to plead guilty to proving material support for terrorism in a plan to try to kill the president.
Prosecutors have agreed to drop other charges in the indictment in exchange for the plea.
Kodirov could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison for the three charges, Kallon told him. Kodirov agrees to be deported after completing his sentence under the plea agreement. Sentencing is set for May 17.
The plea agreement makes it unlikely that the public would ever learn how Kodirov entered the USA, who approved his visa at US Embassy Tashkent, who sponsored his studies in the USA, and so forth.
There are, unfortunately, more outstanding questions than answers about this mysterious case. Perhaps it is a case for Sherlock Holmes?
UPDATE: The Uzbek government has arrested, interrogated, and released his mother, according to this report.