A fourth man was charged on Monday with raising money for a plot to have U.S. residents travel overseas to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Dilkhayot Kasimov was named with three other previously charged defendants in a revised indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn. He faces charges of conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
Prosecutors accused Kasimov of working closely with another man, Abror Habibov, to raise $1,600 for a third, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, to travel to Syria to join ISIL. 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, court papers say.
After being detained on immigration charges, Kasimov admitted he delivered the money to Saidakhmetov and knew that the teen “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.
Kasimov “served as a money man in support of a co-defendant’s efforts to join ISIL,” Diego Rodriguez, the head of New York’s FBI office, said in a statement.
Kasimov is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Brooklyn. The name of his attorney was not immediately available.
Last month, Saidakhmetov, Habibov and Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev — all immigrants from the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan — pleaded not guilty in the same case. Prosecutors accused Juraboev of also trying to travel to Syria via Turkey to join ISIL. Attorneys for the three men have denied the allegations.
The charges against Kasimov come amid recent terrorism cases related to ISIL’s efforts to attract foreign fighters or encourage sympathizers to launch an attack in the U.S.
More than 20 people have been arrested in the U.S. in the last year for trying to travel to Syria to join ISIL or other groups, including six Bosnian-Americans.
Last week two women were arrested on charges that they sought to build a homemade bomb after embracing the radical views of groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIL.
ISIL largely consists of Sunni Muslims from Iraq and Syria but has also drawn fighters from across the Muslim world and Europe.
Intelligence services believe that more than 12,000 foreigners have traveled from at least 81 countries to fight for groups in Syria and Iraq and that one-quarter of them hold Western citizenship.
Al Jazeera with The Associated Press
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