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US grand jury in CA indicts Russian citizen on attempting to help Syrian terror group

Gavel (Brian Turner/WikiCommons)

A federal grand jury in Sacramento has indicted a Russian national on charges of attempting to provide material support to a Syrian organization the U.S. State Department has labeled as a foreign terrorist organization.

Murat Kurashev, a Sacramento resident who is believed to be from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, was arrested by FBI agents on a charge that between last July and February he attempted to provide “material support or resources” to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

HTS also is known as the “Organization for the Liberation of the Levant,” according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The group once was affiliated with al-Qaeda but later split off and aims to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to CSIS.

The indictment, which had been sealed until agents arrested Kurashev, provides no further details on the case but says he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

A law enforcement source said authorities believe Kurashev was attempting to raise funds online for the organization.

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