Air Force veteran arrested after trying to join Isis in Syria

Man served four years in the US Air Force before converting to Islam

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The Independent US

A US Air Force veteran has been arrested and charged with trying to support Isis after he allegedly tried to join the jihadist organisation in Syria.

Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, a 47-year-old American citizen, was recently fired from his job as an airplane mechanic in the Middle East, according to the New York Times. After he was dismissed from his job, Mr Pugh attempted to fly from Egypt to Turkey, hoping to get into Syria to join Isis fighters in that country.

But Turkish officials stopped Mr Pugh at the border to Syria and sent him back to Egypt, which returned him to the US. He was arrested shortly after arriving in New Jersey, where he is from.

He has been charged with supporting Isis and obstruction of justice. The latter charge stems from his apparent attempts to destroy the hard drive on a laptop.


“There is only two possible outcomes for me. Victory or martyr,” Mr. Pugh wrote in a January letter, apparently to his wife that the government obtained from his laptop. “If I am made a martyr, we will have a mansion of indescribable beauty on a magnificent plot of land.”

The laptop also contained 180 jihad videos and a map of crossing points into Syria. A phone confiscated from Mr Pugh had photos of weapons and airplanes, including photos of airplane lavatories and under the seats.

Mr Pugh was in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990, working on airplanes, which he continued after he left the service. He converted to Islam in 1998, according to reports.


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