A former Bronx and Brooklyn resident who became a high-ranking ISIS official has been found guilty of conspiracy and faces life behind bars.
Mirsad Kandic, 40, who was said to have cheered on suicide bombers and delighted in a video of prisoners having to dig their own graves before being shot, was found guilty by a federal jury on May 25 on a six-count indictment. Two of the counts resulted in deaths.
Kandic’s charges include one count of conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), and five counts of providing material support to ISIS, the Department of Justice says.
He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on the two counts that led to death, and 20 years in prison on each of the other four charges. The three-week trial featured testimony from three dozen witnesses and evidence gathered on six continents.
In 2017, Kandic was arrested in Sarajevo. He had first tried to join the organization in the summer of 2012, but could not leave the United States due to being on a no-fly list. In January 2013, after several more unsuccessful attempts to leave the country, he took a two-day Greyhound bus ride from New York City to Monterrey, Mexico and flew through Panama, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Kosovo, and Turkey before arriving in Syria to seek membership in ISIS. He was assigned by ISIS leadership to travel to Turkey where he helped smuggle foreign fighters and weapons into Syria from abroad.
He also served as a local chief for ISIS media, sending out ISIS recruitment messages and gruesome propaganda using the left-wing Twitter service.