Naturalized U.S. Citizen From Kazakstan Traveled to Syria, Joined ISIS as a Sniper, Then Came Back to Brooklyn For Attacks

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Posted: Sep 04, 2019 2:00 PM
Naturalized U.S. Citizen From Kazakstan Traveled to Syria, Joined ISIS as a Sniper, Then Came Back to Brooklyn For Attacks

Source: (AP Photo, File)

Earlier this week the Department of Justice announced a five-count indictment against 43-year-old Suleiman Al-Amrik for "conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS; providing material support to ISIS in the form of personnel, training, expert advice and assistance and weapons; receipt of military-type training from ISIS; and obstruction of justice." The combined charges carry a lifetime sentence in federal prison. 

Amrik immigrated to the United States from Kazakhstan and is a naturalized citizen. He traveled to Syria, joined and fought with ISIS as a sniper and then came back to the U.S.

"As detailed in court filings, Asainov is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Kazakhstan, who resided in Brooklyn.  As alleged, in December 2013, Asainov traveled on a one-way ticket to Istanbul, Turkey, a common transit point to obtain entry into Syria.  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," DOJ released. 

Last week a teenager from Pakistan and living in Queens was arrested for plotting a knife attack in the name of ISIS. 

"A criminal complaint filed today in federal court in Brooklyn charged Awais Chudhary, 19, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization," DOJ released. "In August 2019, Chudhary communicated to undercover law enforcement officers through text messaging that he planned to conduct a stabbing or bombing attack on behalf of ISIS.  Chudhary also wanted to record his attack to inspire others to commit similar acts of violence.  Chudhary identified the pedestrian bridges over the Grand Central Parkway to the Flushing Bay Promenade (the Promenade) and the World’s Fair Marina (the Marina) as locations for the attack."

"On Aug. 23, 2019, Chudhary told an undercover agent that he intended to use a knife 'because that’s what he knows,' but if the undercover agent could instruct him on how to build a bomb, he would consider using an explosive device at a 'mini-bridge over a busy road with many cars.'" a DOJ release continues. "On the same day, Chudhary texted another undercover agent a screenshot of a document entitled, “Islamic State” with the subheadings: 'Places to Strike,' 'The Ideal Knife' and 'Knives to Avoid.'  The instructions included a diagram of the human body with directions where to stab a victim.  Chudhary also sent the undercover agent videos of pedestrian bridges over the Grand Central Parkway and stated that he was considering throwing explosives over the fencing at vehicles passing below."

In July, DOJ announced charges against two Somali refugees living in Tucson, Arizona. According to the indictment, Ahmed Mahad Mohamed and Abdi Yemani Hussein started hitting the gym to get stronger for beheadings.

"On or about June 26, 2019, MOHAMED told the UC (undercover FBI agent) that he and 'abu' jihad started going to the gym so they could get stronger and 'behad those kuffar,'" the indictment states. "MOHAMED indicated that he wanted to make hijrah and asked for help from the UC. MOHAMED state that he was 'a lion bu killing the kuffar and behading.' In addition, MOHAMED told the UC, 'if I go to Syria I want to be the behading person wallahi this kuffar I want to kill them so many I am thirsty their blood.' MOHAMED indicated he wanted to travel to Syria, Egypt and/or Iraq."