Jury finds former New York man guilty of training Islamic State fighters

Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A federal jury on Tuesday found a New York man who traveled to Syria to fight on behalf of the Islamic State guilty on five counts, including providing material to support the terrorist organization.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, 46, left his family in 2013 after being radicalized online to join the Islamic State. There, he was trained in various weapons and he trained others. Asainov was captured in Syria in 2019 after ISIS's last stand at Baghouz, near the Syria-Iraq border.


His charges included conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS; providing material support to ISIS in the form of personnel, training, expert advice and assistance; receipt of military-type training from ISIS; and obstruction of justice.

During the trial in front of U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, the jury found that his support to ISIS resulted in the death of one or more persons.

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"Asainov was a member of ISIS who was so committed to the terrorist organization's evil cause that he abandoned his young family here in Brooklyn, New York, to make an extraordinary journey to the battlefield in Syria where he became a lethal sniper and trained many others to kill their adversaries, and even after being captured still pledged his allegiance to ISIS' murderous path," U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.


"There is no place in a civilized world for the defendant's bloody campaign of death and destruction. Today's verdict in an American courtroom is a victory for our system of justice, and against ISIS and those like the defendant who are committed to murdering innocent people here in the United States and abroad."

Prosecutors said that Asainov fought in numerous battles, including engagements at Kobani, Tabqa, Raqqa, Dayr Az Zawr and Baghouz.

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"The defendant, in this case, fought for ISIS and also trained many others how to kill for that terrorist organization," Assistant Director Robert R. Wells of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, said in the Justice Department statement.

"This verdict demonstrates the FBI and our partners will use all of our legally available tools to hold accountable anyone who assists ISIS or other terrorist groups."

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