Former Brooklyn Resident Sentenced to Life in Prison for Aiding ISIS as Sniper


Summary: A former New York stock broker who joined ISIS as a sniper and instructor was sentenced to life in prison.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a former New York stock broker, has been sentenced to life in prison for his involvement with the Islamic State group. Asainov, who served as a sniper and instructor for the extremist group, showed no remorse throughout his trial, maintaining his allegiance to ISIS. Despite his court-appointed attorney declining to ask for a lighter sentence, stating that Asainov firmly believes in the extremist group’s ideology, the judge sentenced him to life in prison.

Asainov, a US citizen originally born in Kazakhstan, abandoned his family in Brooklyn in 2013 to fight alongside ISIS in Syria. He received sniper training and participated in crucial battles that helped the group establish its self-proclaimed caliphate. Asainov rose in rank within the group and taught over 100 aspiring snipers. Prosecutors described him as a ‘force multiplier’ for ISIS’ violent campaign. It was unclear how many lives he took, but he spoke proudly of his involvement in the violent jihad.

During his trial, Asainov did not participate or show any respect for the court. He refused to stand for the judge or jury and displayed an ISIS flag in his jail cell. Asainov was convicted earlier this year of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and causing at least one death. He is one of many Americans who joined ISIS after heeding their calls to fight in Iraq and Syria. A Brooklyn resident who recruited Asainov, Mirsad Kandic, was also sentenced to life in prison.

In the years leading up to his departure, Asainov became consumed by extremist interpretations of Islamic Law, quitting his job and showing extreme behavior towards his family. He boarded a one-way flight to Istanbul in 2013 and ultimately made his way to Syria with the help of Kandic. Asainov’s capture in 2019 by Syrian Democratic Forces led to his transfer to the United States for trial. The judge in the case agreed with federal prosecutors that Asainov should face the maximum sentence due to the nature of his crimes and his lack of remorse.

Tags: ISIS, New York City, terrorism, sniper, extremism