Prosecutors announced charges on Friday against a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kazakhstan for allegedly joining ISIS as a sniper and firearms instructors.
Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, 42, was charged with providing material support to the terrorist organization, reads a criminal complaint unsealed in a Brooklyn federal court.
“The defendant, a naturalized U.S. citizen residing in Brooklyn, turned his back on the country that took him in and joined ISIS, serving its violent ends in Syria and attempting to recruit others to its cause,” United States Attorney Donoghue said. “Our counterterrorism prosecutors and law enforcement partners will continue working relentlessly to hold accountable those like the defendant who have supported ISIS’s violent agenda.”
The charges state that Asainov visited Turkey in 2013 and later traveled to Syria, where he is believed to have signed up to fight for ISIS.
Between 2014 and 2015, Asainov allegedly told an informant that joining ISIS had renewed his “faith in Islam” and promised to send pictures with him holding a “large-caliber assault rifle.”
According to court filings, the suspect even allegedly attempted to recruit the informant, claiming that the terror organization would provide “a job, housing, food and a $50 stipend per month.”
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) handed over Asainov to federal authorities and was later transferred to FBI custody.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in a Brooklyn court on Friday afternoon.