Former Brooklyn resident convicted in U.S. of aiding Islamic State

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former New York resident has been found guilty in Brooklyn federal court of traveling to the Middle East to recruit Islamic State fighters and obtain weapons for the militants which U.S. authorities brand a terrorist group.

Mirsad Kandic, 40, will face up to life in prison at sentencing in November. Prosecutors said he was a “high-ranking member of ISIS” who traveled to Syria to join the group in 2013.

He then helped other volunteer fighters from Western countries travel to Syria, including a fellow New Yorker and an 18-year-old Australian, prosecutors said.

Court records showed a jury on Tuesday convicted him on six counts including providing material support to ISIS.

“Kandic’s actions were directly linked to attacks and significant loss of life,” Breon Peace, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Lawyers for Kandic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kandic, who was a legal permanent resident of the United States, was arrested in Bosnia and extradited to the United States in 2017.

Prosecutors said Kandic operated a private market on messaging app Telegram where members posted firearms and other military equipment for sale.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Howard Goller)