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5th Man Charged In Connection With ISIS Recruitment Plot In Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A fifth man has been arrested in a Brooklyn terrorism case after he allegedly tried to fund a man's travel to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State extremists.

Akman Zakirov, 29, and a co-defendant discussed providing their own money to purchase a plane ticket for Akhror Saidakhmetov, authorities said. In the week leading up Saidakhmetov's scheduled departure, several individuals transferred $2,400 into Saidakhmetov's personal account, according to federal prosecutors.

"Zakirov is the fifth to be charged as part of the network of individuals alleged to have conspired and attempted to provide material support to ISIL," Acting United States Attorney Kelly Currie said in a news release. "Our efforts to investigate terrorist support groups are ongoing -- we are committed to disrupting and deterring those who seek to support ISIL, whether by lending themselves or their funds to ISIL's cause."

"Any material support of a terrorist organization not only threatens our national security but violates federal law," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriguez said. "In this case, Zakirov is alleged to have been part of a team committed to financing terrorist efforts. Fortunately, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force identified and stopped such activity."

Zakirov, a native of Uzbekistan, is charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Zakriov's four co-defendants, all immigrants from the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan living in Brooklyn, pleaded not guilty in April.

That indictment accused Dilkhayot Kasimov of working closely with Abror Habibov to raise $1,600 for Saidakhmetov to travel to the Middle East. Saidakhmetov was carrying the cash when he was intercepted at JFK Airport on Feb. 25 trying to board a flight to Turkey, court papers say.

The fundraising was "tantamount to providing money to slaughter innocent victims," Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Solomon told a judge in April.

After being detained on immigration charges, Kasimov, 26, admitted he delivered the money to the 19-year-old Saidakhmetov and knew that the teenager "might be" traveling to Syria, court papers say. Agents also uncovered "electronic communications in which Kasimov encouraged others to participate in violent jihad," they said.

Prosecutors accused Juraboev of also trying to travel to Syria via Turkey to join ISIS.

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