An accused terrorist turncoat who renounced his U.S. citizenship to become an ISIS sniper remains eager to fight for the murderous network, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Traitor suspect Ruslan Maratovich Asainov is filled with such hate against America that he won’t even acknowledge the U.S. legal system, and had his lawyer enter a not guilty plea for him on terrorism charges, authorities said.
Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Asainov, 43, on charges that he betrayed his American citizenship to provide material support to the ruthless ISIS network.
Prosecutors at Asainov’s arraignment in Brooklyn Federal Court said his professed devotion to ISIS and its violent tactics were reason enough to keep him locked up at the Metropolitan Detention Center, where he is under heightened security.
Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan, lived in Brooklyn between 1998 and 2013 before traveling to Istanbul and making his way into Syria, where he joined the militant organization.
Prosecutors said he was giving weapons training to terrorists overseas, and had become an ISIS sniper bent on dying on the battlefield.
He rose to the rank of “emir,” which put him in charge of training other ISIS members in weapons use, according to the indictment.
In March 2015, Asainov asked a confidential informant to send him approximately $2,800 so he could purchase a scope for his rifle, according to the indictment. Asainov subsequently sent the informant two pictures of himself holding an assault rifle fitted with a scope.
Asainov messaged one individual, exclaiming in reference to ISIS, “we are the worst terrorist organization in the world that has ever existed,” and added that he wished to die on the battlefield.
Asainov was detained in Syria and later brought him back to Brooklyn. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
With News Wire Services