The U.S. Department of Justice announced that a Kazakh-American and alleged sniper and weapons instructor for the Islamic State has been indicted on five counts of terrorism charges.
43-year-old Ruslan Maratovich Asainov was indicted 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” according to a report released by the U.S. DoJ.
According to federal prosecutors, Asainov – a naturalized American citizen from Kazakhstan who was able to first enter the country on a ‘Diversity Visa Lottery’ – traveled to Istanbul, Turkey in December of 2013 with the intention of going Syria to fight for the Islamic State. After successfully making his way to Syria, Asainov is accused of joining the Islamic State and becoming a sniper for the terrorist organization.
Asainov, while serving as a sniper for IS, quickly rose in the terrorist organization’s ranks and was placed in charge of training newly recruited IS fighters.
Asainov is also accused of attempting to recruit IS sympathizers and fellow jihadists living in the U.S. to make the journey to Syria to fight for the Islamic State.
The 43-year-old Kazakh-American traveled to Syria to allegedly serve an IS sniper fourteen years after he was first permitted to legally immigrate to the United States via the Diversity Visa Lottery program.
The Diversity Visa Lottery program is an immigration program which randomly gives out about 55,000 visas every year to foreign nationals from a wide variety of countries, including countries with well-documented terrorist problems like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, and more.
If he’s convicted, Asainov could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.