New York Stockbroker Converts to Islam, Becomes ISIS Sniper

Yet another convert to Islam somehow gets the crazy idea that his new religion, which every authority in the Western world assures us is peaceful, commands him to commit violence against non-believers. The authorities, as always, couldn’t be less interested in this recurring phenomenon.

“US Man Convicted of Aiding Islamic State as Sniper, Trainer,” Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press, February 7, 2023:

NEW YORK (AP) – A former New York stockbroker-turned-Islamic State group militant was convicted Tuesday of being a sniper and trainer for the extremist group during its brutal rule in Syria and Iraq.

The trial of Ruslan Maratovich Asanov, a U.S. citizen of Kazakh descent, is the latest in a series of cases against people around the world accused of fleeing their homelands to join militants.

A one-time broker who doted on his young daughter, Asanov converted to Islam around 2009 and later quit his job and began watching radical sermons online, his ex-wife testified. In December 2013, he abruptly left his family in Brooklyn and moved to Syria as IS rose to power.

In a case based on Asanov’s own words in messaging apps, emails, recorded phone calls and an FBI interview, prosecutors said he fought in numerous battles and built a significant profile in IS as a sniper and later became a long-time instructor of about 100. – Range shooter.

“The evidence showed that people died as a result of the defendant’s conduct. It’s time to hold him accountable,” prosecutor Douglas Pravda told the jury in Brooklyn federal court in closing arguments.

Asanov, 46, did not testify, telling the court that he was “not part of this process.”

His lawyers did not dispute that he went to Syria and was linked to the Islamic State group, but they argued that his accounts of his role were boasts that had no direct support and did not prove that anyone had died because of his behavior….

Jurors, whose identities were withheld, found Asanov guilty of crimes that include attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization designated by the United States. The jury also concluded that his actions caused at least one death, a finding that means he faces the possibility of life in prison. He will be sentenced on June 7.

US-backed forces soon picked up Asanov and handed him over to US authorities. Silent as FBI agents questioned him, he stated his occupation as a “sniper” and openly detailed how he taught others, explaining that he could spend three hours on the finer points of pulling the trigger, according to video played at trial.

He had been texting and calling friends and now-ex-wife from Syria, according to trial evidence.

“Have you heard of the Islamic State? right ISIS Do you watch the news on TV? That is where I am located. I am one of its fighters,” he told his ex in a voicemail that authorities translated from Russian. “We are the world’s worst terrorist organization that has ever existed.”

He sent pictures of himself in camouflage with a rifle and the bloodied bodies of men he said he had fought. He texted a confidant — actually a US government informant — a rundown of prominent battles in which he said he had participated and asked for money to buy a night scope for his rifle.

Later, with the sound of explosions on Asanov’s phone in the background, he asked another friend for money to send his new wife and children to safety as US-backed forces battled to capture the extremists’ de facto capital of Raqqa in 2017…

After his arrest, Asanov, a protester, declared in his complaint that he was an “Islamic State citizen, not a United States citizen,” and prison officials said they later found a hand-painted version of the militants’ flag in his cell.

In a recorded prison phone call, he told his mother that her son “doesn’t exist anymore”, replaced by a man who saw himself as a holy warrior who fought and killed on divine orders, that he had no regrets and would “fight as long as possible”. “The end.”

“I will not change this path, even if they give me freedom a thousand times,” he told her in a translated call.

“Do you understand?”