Defendant Allegedly is Part of ISIL Foreign Fighter Local Support Network; Travelled to Kennedy Airport on Feb. 25 to Provide Cash to Co-Defendant Shortly Before Co-Defendant Was Arrested Attempting to Board Flight to Turkey to Join ISIL
U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Assistant Director in Charge Diego G. Rodriguez of the FBI’s New York Field Office, Commissioner William J. Bratton of the New York City Police Department and Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) New York announced that earlier today, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York, returned a superseding indictment charging Dilkhayot Kasimov, 26, a Brooklyn resident, with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization. The defendant, who is charged along with three other Brooklyn residents whose arrests were first announced on Feb. 25, 2015, is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at 2 p.m., before U.S. District Judge William F. Kuntz II of the Eastern District of New York.
As alleged in the superseding indictment and other court filings, the investigation began last year when Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, one of Kasimov’s co-defendants, came to the attention of law enforcement after posting on an Uzbek-language website that propagates ISIL’s ideology. The investigation subsequently revealed that Juraboev and another co-defendant, Akhror Saidakhmetov, planned to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of waging violent jihad on behalf of ISIL. Saidakhmetov was arrested on Feb. 25, 2015, at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul. Juraboev previously purchased a plane ticket to travel from New York to Istanbul and had been scheduled to leave the United States in March 2015.
Working closely with co-defendant Abror Habibov, Kasimov allegedly helped fund Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIL. Kasimov and Habibov collected over $1,600 from multiple individuals for Saidakhmetov to use in Syria. Kasimov thereafter delivered the money to Saidakhmetov at Kennedy Airport shortly before Saidakhmetov was apprehended trying to board his flight in February. Additional investigation uncovered electronic messages in which Kasimov encouraged others to participate in violent jihad and made clear his role in facilitating the travel of foreign fighters to Syria.
“This defendant is the fourth Brooklyn resident charged as part of the same network of individuals who are alleged to have conspired and attempted to provide material support to ISIL,” said U.S. Attorney Lynch. “Terrorist support networks like the one this defendant was involved in offer critical funding, travel logistics, and encouragement to persons seeking to join ISIL and other foreign terrorist organizations. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and to disrupt and dismantle the networks, here and abroad, that support them.” U.S. Attorney Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which comprises a large number of federal, state and local agencies from the region.
“Dilkhayot Kasimov allegedly attempted and conspired with others to provide material support to ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division remains committed to holding accountable all who seek to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations. I would like to thank all of the agents, analysts and prosecutors who are responsible for this case.”
“Kasimov served as a money man in support of a co-defendant’s efforts to join ISIL,” said Assistant Director in Charge Rodriguez. “He provided encouragement and facilitated travel for foreign fighters. As the recent series of cases indicate, we will pursue every lead and every person who succumbs to this radical agenda. It is my hope that these cases deter others from sharing Kasimov’s fate: being under arrest and in trouble with the law.”
“Money is the oxygen that fuels terrorism,” said Commissioner Bratton. “This investigation proves again that we will leave no stone unturned to disrupt the finance, support, or membership in terrorist organizations like ISIL.”
“These arrests are the culmination of an extensive joint law enforcement effort to disrupt the recruitment of alleged terrorist sympathizers,” said Special Agent in Charge Parmer. “ICE-HSI will continue to use its unique immigration and customs authorities to assist our domestic and international law enforcement partners to stop jihadists from supporting terrorist organizations such as ISIL.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The charges in the superseding indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander Solomon, Douglas M. Pravda and Peter W. Baldwin of the Eastern District of New York, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Danya Atiyeh of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.