What could lead a New York stockbroker to become a terrorist?

New to PJ Media:

Here’s a career trajectory that, as Bob Uecker might say, is a little out of the ordinary: Ruslan Maratovich Asanov was a New York stockbroker and a happily married man with a young daughter he adored. But something was missing. A Kazakh native and naturalized American citizen, Ruslan Maratovich Asanov was on a spiritual quest that eventually led him to convert to the predominantly Muslim religion of his native land. Asanov plunged into his new faith with all the zeal of a new convert and then some. Ultimately, his new religion led him to leave the world of bulls and bears and travel to Iraq and Syria during the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS). Ruslan Maratovich Asinov is probably the only stockbroker in New York who has been an ISIS sniper.

However, Asanov was far from the only convert to Islam who somehow got the crazy idea that his new religion, which every authority in the Western world assured us was peaceful, commanded him to commit violence against non-believers. Yet authorities around the world could not possibly be less interested in this recurring phenomenon; There is no counter-terrorism organization in any country in the entire world that studies the phenomenon of conversion to Islam and tries to determine why so many people convert from a religion of peace to jihad terrorism. As common as it is, as far as counterterrorism “experts” are concerned, it simply doesn’t exist.

As for Asanov, he converted back to Islam in 2009. Soon after, he quit his job and began watching online sermons by jihadist preachers, according to his ex-wife. It was the start of a journey that led him, according to an Associated Press report, to his conviction Tuesday for his activities as a sniper and trainer for the Islamic State. According to the AP, Asanov “suddenly left his family in Brooklyn for Syria in December 2013 when IS came to power.” Prosecutors said that once there, “he fought in numerous battles and developed a significant profile within IS, becoming a sniper and later training about 100 other long-range shooters.”

During Asanov’s trial in Brooklyn, prosecutor Douglas Pravda announced: “The evidence shows that people died as a result of the defendant’s conduct. It is time to hold him accountable.” Asanov, however, said nothing during the trial except to tell the court that he was “not part of this process.” This was a reflection of the Islamic teaching that a Muslim owes no allegiance to any earthly authority, especially a legal authority that does not recognize the perfect and immutable law of Allah. Asanov was saying that he did not recognize the court as legitimate; He will only consider a Sharia court as his jurisdiction. When he was sentenced, Asanov made this abundantly clear, insisting that he was a “citizen of the Islamic State, not a citizen of the United States.”

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