Bay Ridge man sentenced to life plus 70 years for supporting ISIS, resulting in death

U.S. Citizen Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a Sniper Trainer for ISIS, Convicted in Brooklyn Federal Court

October 17, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace announced the sentencing of a 30-year-old from South Carolina, who was found guilty of selling guns in New York City. Photo courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office
Share this:

A U.S. citizen and former Bay Ridge, Brooklyn resident, Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, was sentenced to life imprisonment plus an additional 70 years by United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis. The sentencing comes after Asainov was convicted on multiple counts, including providing material support to ISIS that resulted in death.

Asainov, who left his family behind in Brooklyn to join the terrorist organization in Syria, was convicted after a three-week trial in February 2023. He had served as a sniper and weapons instructor, involved in numerous battles in Syria between December 2013 and March 2019.

“The defendant committed his life to that terrorist organization and became a lethal sniper for ISIS in Syria, training many other ISIS members to shoot to kill as ISIS waged its brutal, barbaric campaign,” said Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the EDNY. “To this day, the defendant maintains his unrepentant allegiance to that hateful cause.”

After leaving Brooklyn in December 2013, Asainov left his wife and daughter behind and flew from JFK Airport to Istanbul. By early January 2014, he had traveled to northern Syria and joined ISIS as a fighter. 

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Over the course of five years, he participated in several battles across regions such as Kobani, Tabqa, and Raqqa. Asainov received military training in firearms and rocket-propelled grenades, and eventually rose to the rank of a sniper trainer for the group. 

While in Syria, Asainov attempted to recruit another individual from the U.S. and sought funds for purchasing a rifle scope. He openly communicated his allegiance to ISIS to his estranged wife, even sending her a photograph of dead fighters with ISIS insignias. 

Captured near the Syria-Iraq border after ISIS’s last stand at Baghouz, Asainov admitted to the FBI that he had been an active ISIS combatant. Even during his trial, he reiterated his allegiance to ISIS, stating the group would rise again. Asainov was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 70 years for his involvement with the terrorist organization.

The investigation received assistance from multiple international authorities, including those in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Finland, South Africa and Ukraine. The case was handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section, with assistance from various international partners.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment