Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
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6th Man Charged in NYC ISIS Recruitment Plot

Another man has been tied to a plot to send U.S. residents overseas to fight for ISIS, federal prosecutors revealed on Wednesday. 

Azizjon Rakhmatov was named in an indictment unsealed Wednesday accusing him and four New York City residents of conspiring to support ISIS, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Rakhamatov was also accused of weapons crimes.

The indictment alleges that Rakhmatov conspired with Dilkhayot Kasimov, Abror Habibov, Akhror Saidakhmetov, Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev and Akmal Zakirov to send Saidakhmetov to Syria to join ISIS. Saidakhmetov was carrying the cash when he was intercepted at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Feb. 25 trying to board a flight to Turkey.

Kasimov, Habibov, Saidakhmetov and Juraboev were all arrested last year. Juraboev pleaded guilty in August.  

Federal prosecutors have said the fundraising was "tantamount to providing money to slaughter innocent victims," Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Solomon told the judge.

After being detained on immigration charges, Kasimov, 26, admitted he delivered the money to the 19-year-old Saidakhmetov and knew that the teenager "might be" traveling to Syria, court papers say. Agents also uncovered "electronic communications in which Kasimov encouraged others to participate in violent jihad," they said.

Prosecutors accused Juraboev of also trying to travel to Syria via Turkey to join ISIS.

Saidakmetov's attorney has said that his client was an innocent "young kid," while the other defendants' attorneys have declined to comment.

Attorney information for Rakhmatov wasn't immediately available. 

The charges against the men came amid a spate of recent terrorism cases related to the Islamic State group's efforts to attract foreign fighters or encourage sympathizers to launch an attack in America.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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