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Uzbeks, Kazakh Charged In New York With Recruiting For Islamic State

An Uzbek citizen June 11 became the fifth person in New York to be charged with plotting to recruit U.S. fighters to join the Islamic State militant group.

Akmal Zakirov, 29, pleaded not guilty during a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn to two counts of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

He is scheduled to appear again in court June 16 along with four previously charged defendants: Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Dilkhayot Kasimov and Abror Habibov, all three of Uzbekistan, and Akhror Saidakhmetov, a native of Kazakhstan.

Prosecutors have said Saidakhmetov and Juraboev planned to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of the Islamic State.

They said Zakirov and Habibov discussed providing their own money to cover Saidakhmetov's travel expenses and solicited others to provide funds.

Prosecutors said several people transferred $2,400 into Zakirov's bank account in the eight days prior to Saidakhmetov's scheduled departure, with the money intended to fund his travel.

If convicted, Zakirov faces up to 30 years in prison. His co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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