Air Force veteran arrested after trying to join ISIS


Former U.S. Air Force mechanic Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh has been charged with attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS, according to a report by NBC News. On Monday, Pugh was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on two charges, one was attempting to provide material support to a terror organization.

In December 2014, Pugh, 47, was fired from his airplane mechanic job in Kuwait. A month later he flew to Turkey from Egypt in order to venture into Syria and join ISIS. However, he was not granted entry into Turkey by their authorities and was sent back to Egypt on a return flight.

On January 15, he was deported to the U.S. after he was found carrying a photograph of a machine gun along with other suspicious items. He was arrested the following day.

An examination of his laptop showed enquiries of borders and crossing points that were controlled by the Islamic State as well as ISIS execution videos. Several social media posts reveal Pugh never had intentions of returning to the United States, despite being a citizen with family, including children, in the country. His last known U.S. residence was in Neptune, New Jersey.

Having served in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990 as an avionics instrument specialist, Pugh reportedly received training in the installation and maintenance of aircraft engine, navigation, and weapons systems. He was employed by various companies in both the U.S. and Middle East as an avionics specialist and airplane mechanic after leaving the Air Force.

The Associated Press reported that he will appear in federal court in New York City on Wednesday.

Official FBI press release

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