The United States leveled terrorism charges on November 1 against a man extradited from Bosnia who had joined the Islamic State extremist group to allegedly help disseminate propaganda and recruit suicide bombers.
Mirsad Kandic, 36, a U.S. resident originally from Kosovo, was extradited from Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 31, four years after he allegedly joined IS in Syria, where he helped to recruit others to the extremist cause.
Kandic told associates he had helped 20,000 “brothers” join the group, U.S. prosecutors said.
One of those was a man from Australia, Jake Bilardi, who Kandic helped travel through Turkey into IS territory in August 2014, they said.
Seven months later, with Kandic’s encouragement, Bilardi volunteered as a suicide bomber and blew himself up in an attack in Ramadi, Iraq, according to the U.S. indictment.
Kandic was also a propagandist for IS, managing more than 100 Twitter accounts to provide news on the militant group’s battlefield activities, prosecutors alleged.
Kandic was a legal U.S. resident who lived in Brooklyn, New York before travelling to Istanbul in 2013 to join IS, prosecutors said.
“Defendant Kandic abandoned the United States, his adopted country, and joined ISIS, a violent terrorist organization opposed to the U.S. and its interests,” Acting US Attorney Bridget M. Rohde said.
He was charged with six federal terrorism counts, including providing material support and resources to a designated terrorist group, and faces possible life in prison.
Kandic’s lawyer, James Branden, declined to comment on the charges.