Russian reserve officer sentenced to 19 years for fighting for ISIS

The North Caucasus District Military Court in southern Russia’s Rostov-on-Don has sentenced former officer of the Russian Defense Ministry Denis Khisamov to 19 years in a maximum security penal colony for joining the Islamic State terror group.

The court also ruled to restrict Khisamov’s liberty for another year and strip him of his military rank of a reserve captain. The criminal case against Khisamov was opened into “undergoing training to carry out terrorist activity” and “participation in the activity of a terrorist organization.”

According to the case files, Khisamov confessed to taking part in 10 operations of the IS group in Syria in 2015-2016. In one of these operations to seize the Al-Rai settlement some eight people were killed and another 13 were injured in a blast. He also admitted that he had taken part in massacres, killing four people.

Khisamov, who retired from military service in 2009, confessed that he underwent training for the IS group’s recruits in Raqqa and joined one of its cells consisting of 300 members. In December 2016, he moved to Turkey where he robbed currency exchange offices to the tune of $230,000. This money was channeled to an IS member for allegedly sponsoring terrorist activity in Syria.

Police detained Khisamov in Turkey in April 2017. Following riots in a detention center for foreign citizens in August 2017, Khisamov, who was seriously wounded, was deported to Tajikistan and later handed over to Russia.

In December 2017, Russia’s Suzdal district court sentenced Khisamov to three years and three months in a penal colony for counterfeiting of money. However, the former officer did not serve his sentence then because he was in Syria.