U.S. prosecutors charge New York man with being Islamic State sniper

July 19 (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors have charged a New York man with fighting for the Islamic State militant group in Syria and serving as a weapons trainer, according to court documents unsealed on Friday.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a 42-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Kazakhstan, was charged with providing material support to the terrorist organization, including providing training to terrorist soldiers and attempting to recruit personnel.

Asainov traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, from his home in New York's Brooklyn borough in December 2013 and then to Syria, where he joined Islamic State and rose through the ranks as a sniper and then as a weapons instructor, according to charging documents.

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Iraqi grandmother fends for 22 grandchildren after ISIS killed her sons
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Iraqi grandmother fends for 22 grandchildren after ISIS killed her sons
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, is seen with her grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, prepares food with grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, pray with grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, buys fruits in Mosul, Iraq August 6, 2018. Picture taken August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, carries fruit with her grandchildren in Mosul, Iraq August 6, 2018. Picture taken August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, carries grape leaves to prepare food at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic state militants, prepares food at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
Grandchildren of an Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, play with a bicycle in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
Grandchildren of an Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, play at their home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, receives aid and distributes it to her grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq August 6, 2018. Picture taken August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
Granddaughter of an Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee shows her dress that she received from the aid in Mosul, Iraq August 6, 2018. Picture taken August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, play with her grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose her five sons were killed by Islamic state militants, prepare to pray with grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, play with her grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, receives aid and distributes it to her grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq August 6, 2018. Picture taken August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
Grandchildren of an Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, play with a motorcycle in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, play with her grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
An Iraqi woman Sana Ibrahim al-Taee, 64, whose five sons were killed by Islamic State militants, poses for a photograph with her husband and her grandchildren at her home in Mosul, Iraq July 30, 2018. Picture taken July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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Prosecutors said Asainov was detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces and was transferred into FBI custody.

The charges filed against Asainov were based in part on his regular communication between August 2014 and March 2015 with a confidential informant working for the New York Police Department. According to the complaint, Asainov attempted to recruit the informant to work for Islamic State's media operations and asked that he send about $2,800 for military equipment.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for several attacks against Americans in the United States and abroad.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in Boston; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)

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