Brooklyn man arrested on federal terror charges, allegedly an ISIS sniper and rose through group's ranks

David Caplan
July 19, 2019 - 12:16 pm

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A 43-year-old Brooklyn man -- a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Kazakhstan -- has been arrested on federal terror charges of attempting to provide material support, including training, services and personnel to a designated foreign terrorist group, federal prosecutors say.

Authorities say Ruslan Maratovich Asainov rose through the ranks of ISIS to become an "emir."

"Asainov was detained overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and transferred into the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Wednesday," the Department of Justice said in a news release. 

Asainov’s initial appearance is scheduled for Friday before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold in Brooklyn.

"In December 2013, Asainov traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, a common transit point to obtain entry into Syria," the Justice Department said. "He subsequently entered Syria, joined ISIS and became a sniper for the terrorist organization.  Over time, Asainov rose through the ranks to become an ISIS 'emir' in charge of training other ISIS members in the use of weapons.  He also attempted to recruit another individual to travel from the United States to Syria to fight for ISIS."

United States Attorney Donoghue said, “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. 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."

NYPD Commissioner O’Neill said, "This arrest serves as a warning to anyone anywhere in the world who intends to support or conduct attacks on behalf of terrorist groups against the United States – you will be brought to justice.  I would like to thank our investigators and law enforcement partners for their outstanding work in taking Mr. Asainov off the battlefield and placing him into American custody,” stated NYPD Commissioner O’Neill."