Federal prosecutors have charged a New York City man with joining and providing aid to ISIS, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, 43, a Brooklyn resident from 1998 to 2013, allegedly provided material support to ISIS in the form of personnel, training, expertise, and weapons, as well receiving military training from the terrorist group and obstructing justice, according to the indictment filed Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Asainov, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Kazakhstan, also went by two pseudonyms, “Suleiman Al-Amriki” and “Suleiman Al-Kazakhi,” Federal authorities said that he’d traveled to Istanbul in December 2013, entered Syria, and become a sniper for ISIS.
“Over time, Asainov rose through the ranks to become an ISIS ’emir’ in charge of training other ISIS members in the use of weapons,” the DOJ said, adding that he’d attempted to recruit another person to leave the U.S. and fight for ISIS in Syria.
Asainov also asked a “confidential informant” to send him $2,800 for a scope for his rifle in March 2015, and later sent the same person two photographs of himself holding an assault rifle with a scope, according to the indictment. He was returned to the U.S. with the help of the Syrian Democratic Forces, who arrested him in July.