Brooklyn man joined ISIS, trained other members, “turned his back on the ideals we value”: officials

A Brooklyn man and American citizen was an ISIS sniper and trained other members of the terrorist organization, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, who announced charges against him Friday.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a naturalized American citizen born in Kazakhstan, was detained overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces and was transferred into FBI custody.

“Some go to great lengths to join groups, such as ISIS, to fight on behalf of terrorist ideologies, and to recruit others to travel in support of their misguided principles,” said Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division.  “As we allege today, Asainov left this country to do just that. He turned his back on the ideals we value, and he’ll now be made to face our justice system head-on.”

Officials say Asainov traveled to Istanbul, Turkey in 2013 before entering Syria and joining ISIS. Over time, he rose through the ranks to become an "emir", training other members to use weapons. He also is said to have tried to recruit another individual to travel from the U.S. to Syria to fight for the terrorist group.

In March 2015, he asked an informant for money to that he could purchase a scope for his rifle. He later sent the informant photographs of himself holding an assault rifle fitted with a scope.

He'll be arraigned in court in East Brooklyn Friday.


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