A New York man, who is said to have booked a one-way ticket from JFK to Syria to go and fight for ISIS, was ordered to be held without bail on Friday shortly after prosecutors revealed the trove of vicious text messages that contributed to his downfall.
Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a 42-year-old Kazakhstan-born US citizen, was charged yesterday with providing material support to a terrorist group, including training soldiers and attempting to recruit new personnel.
He arrived back at JFK on Thursday, nearly five years after he left his Brooklyn home and allegedly traveled to Syria to join the terrorist group.
Asainov appeared in Brooklyn federal court the following afternoon, where Prosecutors revealed a number of threatening and shocking text messages sent by the accused jihadist during his reported time as an ISIS soldier.
‘You will be f***ing scared for the rest of your life,’ Asainov said in one seething message to an unidentified recipient in January 2015.
Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a 42-year-old Kazakhstan-born US citizen, was charged with providing material support ISIS, including weapons training to terrorist soldiers and attempting to recruit personnel
‘We will get you. You need to obey,’ he continued. ‘You’ve heard of ISIS. You need to be punished you f***ing [redacted]. We will find you and teach you how to behave.’
According to federal prosecutors Asainov was originally born in Kazakhstan but later became a naturalized US citizen, residing in Brooklyn from 1998 to 2013.
He departed from his Brooklyn home – leaving behind his wife, Alexandra, and young daughter – to travel from JFK to Istanbul, Turkey, on a red-eye flight departing on December 24, 2013.
‘They were a nice married couple,’ former neighbor Albina Veribrus, 57, told The New York Post.
‘She got pregnant, I was very happy for her. She was a nice American girl. They had a baby girl. She was adorable,’ the neighbor continued.
‘[Alexandra] worked in retail. He was polite, but aloof. At first he was normal, but then he grew a beard. She said they were arguing before, he was drinking, then she said he stopped and everything was good between them.’
Asainov is said to have booked a one-way ticket from JFK to Syria to go and fight for ISIS has been charged by federal authorities for supporting the terrorist organisation, prosecutors revealed Friday.
It’s believed than Alexandra moved to England shortly after her husband left the US.
Upon his arrival in Turkey, Asainov is said to have traveled into Syria and allegedly enrolled to join ISIS as a fighter.
He said to have quickly risen through the ranks serving as a sniper before being promoted to an ’emir’, where he was given the responsibility of training new soldiers and recruiting new members.
During his believed tenure with the terrorist militia, Asainov apparently send a slew of incriminating messages and photos, many of them to one anonymous individual in the US, who became a confidential informant for the NYPD.
In March 2015, Asainov asked the informant to send him approximately $2,800 so that he could purchase a scope for his rifle.
Refusing the request, later still Asainov sent photos of himself holding a ‘large-caliber assault rifle, fitted with a scope’, to the informant, showing off his newest gadget.
In Federal Court on Friday, prosecutors revealed a slew of text messages that they say helped implicated him in the terrorist charges he’s now facing. Many of the incriminating messages and photos were sent to one anonymous individual in the US, who became a confidential informant for the NYPD
According to prosecutors, at least one of the photos showed him posing with the kitted-out weapon on a battlefield, wearing combat fatigues.
The informant also received messages from Asainov that are said to show the accused attempting to recruit him and his family to join him the terrorist group in Syria, promising him ‘a job, housing, food and a $50 stipend per month.’
‘Even grandmothers [are joining the group],’ Asainov reportedly added in persuasion.
In a separate chain of messages, Asainov allegedly bragged that ISIS was the ‘worst terrorist organization in the world that has ever existed’ and said he hoped to one day die in battle.
The messages were reportedly followed by a photo showing three dead fighters with instructions to ‘praise ISIS’.
Prosecutors said Asainov was detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces and was then transferred into FBI custody when he landed in JFK on Thursday.
He said to have quickly risen through the ranks serving as a sniper, before being promoted to an ’emir’, where he was given the responsibility of training new recruits, a newly unsealed criminal complaint claims (file image)
Asainov appeared in Brooklyn federal in front of Magistrate Judge Steve Gold court on Friday afternoon.
He was twice admonished twice by Gold for not answering audibly when asked if he speaks English and understands his rights.
Eventually, he did answer procedural questions with one-word answers, but only loudly enough for the judge to hear.
Prosecutors urged the judge to refuse Asainov bail, citing him to be a danger to the community and as having ‘substantial foreign ties’ – believing he would likely to attempt to flee the country should he be temporarily released.
The judge agreed, ordering Asainov to be held without bail until trial.
After the trial, defense lawyer Susan Kellman clarified why her client didn’t want to answer the judge’s inquiries.
’He answers to a higher authority; He says his ruler is Allah,’ Kellman said, calling the defendant ‘very pleasant, very forthcoming’ and said she had no trouble understanding his speech.
‘His English is perfect,’ she said. ‘He lived in Brooklyn. He’s a Brooklyn boy.’
Asainov entered no plea during the hearing. He faces a maximum prison term of up to 20 years if convicted.