US ISIS recruiter sentenced to life in New York court

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A Kosovo-born US man who helped supply “thousands” of recruits to ISIS was sentenced to life in prison Friday for helping the extremist group, the Justice Department announced.

Mirsad Kandic, 40, was a high-ranking member of the extremist group between 2013 and 2017, when it controlled large swathes of Iraq and Syria, the Justice Department said.

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In 2013 he left his home in New York and traveled to Syria where he joined ISIS, becoming a fighter in Haritan outside of Aleppo.

Then he was directed to move to Turkey to help smuggle foreign fighters and weapons for the group into Syria, it said.

He was also an emir for ISIS media, the department said, disseminating the group’s propaganda and recruitment messages online, including via more than 120 Twitter accounts.

As recruiter, “he sent thousands of radicalized ISIS volunteer fighters from Western countries into ISIS-controlled territories in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East,” the Justice Department said.

One recruited volunteer was a fellow New Yorker, Ruslan Asainov, who became a sniper for ISIS and was convicted in February of providing material support to a designated terror group.

Another was Australian teen Jake Bilardi, who was lured into ISIS in 2014 before killing himself and more than 30 Iraqi soldiers in a March 2015 suicide bomb attack.

By early 2017, Kandic was hiding in Bosnia under a pseudonym. He was arrested in July 2017 in Sarajevo, and extradited to the United States three months later.

He was convicted in a jury trial in May 2022 of conspiracy and five counts of providing support to ISIS.

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