Sunday 16 July 2023

Former New York Resident Sentenced To Life In Prison After Fighting For ISIS

 A former member of ISIS who had lived in New York was sentenced to life in prison Friday following his conviction of supporting and recruiting for the radical Islamist group.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis sentenced Mirsad Kandic, a citizen of Kosovo, to life in prison Friday. According to the Department of Justice, Kandic was convicted of five substantive counts of providing material support to ISIS in the forms of personnel and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

“Kandic was a high-ranking member of ISIS who relished the death and destruction he wrought while providing every conceivable form of material support to a terrorist organization, including the recruitment of countless others to ISIS’s bloody campaigns in Syria and elsewhere,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. “Today’s sentence holds the defendant accountable for his conduct and ensures that he will never again pose a threat to the United States or any of our allies. This Office will remain relentless in prosecuting terrorists who threaten the safety and security of the United States and U.S. interests around the world.” 

Kandic, who had lived in both Brooklyn and the Bronx, fought for ISIS, according to federal prosecutors. Additionally, prosecutors said that he recruited Jake Bilardi, an Australian teenager, who killed dozens in a suicide bombing. Kandic also helped gather weapons, military equipment, maps, money, and false identifications, for ISIS. 

“Serving ISIS’s deadly terror campaign, this defendant fought on the battlefield, spread propaganda, smuggled weapons, and radicalized Western recruits,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen. “The National Security Division was created to counter foreign terrorist organizations like ISIS and, with our partners, we remain committed to identifying and holding accountable those who provide support to such terrorist groups.”


Kandic’s defense lawyer, David Stearn, asked the judge to demonstrate that “we have a shred of mercy for every human being and we believe in change.” Garafuis was unconvinced, pointing to the Kandic’s extreme actions. 

Homeland Security Investigations New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo thanked all of those involved in the operation. 

“Mirsad Kandic’s steadfast physical and material support of ISIS brought untold additional members into the organization, sowing death and destruction throughout ISIS territory and the world,” he said. “This investigation and successful prosecution were only possible through the close collaboration of U.S. and international partners working together to track down those who provide support to foreign terrorist organizations and bring them to justice.”

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