The accused money man in the Brooklyn trio of ISIS wannabes had financial interests — and wary neighbors — up and down the Atlantic seaboard, it emerged Thursday, a day after his arrest in Florida.
Officials in Florida, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Virginia were jolted by federal charges that Abror Habibov, 30, an Uzbekistan national, was operating in their states and using his profits, to fund men looking to join the Islamic State terrorists.
Abror Habibov, 30, ran cell phone and kitchen kiosks in major shopping malls and one of his two co-defendants nabbed Wednesday, Kazakhstan-born Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, worked for him in Philly.
Saidakhmetov and Uzbekistan-born Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, wanted to fly to Turkey, sneak into Syria, and join ISIS, a federal indictment says, and if that didn’t work, the intention was to hit America.
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Habibov planned was to keep funding radicalized young Muslims, the government says.
The News Journal in Delaware reports that Habibov called his kiosk at The Dover Mall, "I Cell Fix."
Court records also reveal Habibov to be an alleged deadbeat, sued for not paying rent on an apartment he was renting on Greenway Drive at Dover Country Club. A neighbor described the occupant as "pretty weird."
"I never talked with him, but I heard him and he did have an accent," Reginald told The News Journal. "He had a beard sometimes and drove an old, beat-up, brown Buick, with a messed up license plate. I saw him coming and going in that all the time."
Florida appears to be a major center of operation for Habibov, who had kiosks in Orange Park Mall, and two other cities, reports WJXT.
In Jacksonville, Fla., where Habibov was arrested, Rick Parker, a retired assistant chief with Homeland Security at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, told the station that such arrests are the “new normal.”
“To me, this is going to be a regular lead story just like local crime is, which is unfortunate," he said. "Training takes place here in the United States. They don't try to make foreign flights over there. That's the concern that opens a lot of doors about we won't be able to vet or find these folks on foreign aircraft and they don't have to leave the United States," said Parker.
Habibov will be back in court in Florida March 3. The other two men were arraigned in Brooklyn. All are charged with conspiracy to aid the Islamic State and are being held without bail.