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Tairod Pugh, Air Force Vet, Convicted of Trying to Join ISIS

Image: Tairod Pugh, Air Force Vet, Convicted of Trying to Join ISIS
(U.S. Attorney's Office)

By    |   Thursday, 10 Mar 2016 11:53 AM

Tairod Pugh, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was convicted by a Brooklyn federal jury Wednesday of attempting to provide support to a terror organization and obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to join ISIS.

The verdict in U.S. district court was the first conviction of an American accused of trying to join a terrorist group, said the New York Post. Pugh, 48, had served four years in the Air Force before starting work as an airline mechanic in the Middle East, according to prosecutors.

"Today's verdict provides yet another example of a successful outcome in our national security effort, and demonstrates the crucial role that law enforcement action plays in that effort," U.S. attorney Robert Capers said in a release about the conviction.

"The evidence presented at trial and the jury's verdict instill confidence that our law enforcement agencies and their many important partners at home and abroad work effectively to disrupt and defeat the deadly siren's call of terrorist groups around the globe." 

Shortly before his arrest, Pugh had written a never-sent letter to his wife in Egypt saying that he would die a martyr and bring her along to paradise, reported The New York Times. In it he pledged to "use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic State." 

Defense attorneys said the fact Pugh never actually sent the letter proved their client's support of the Islamic State was nothing more than fantasies, said the Times.

Pugh's obstruction charge stemmed from the destruction of several flash drives that authorities claimed contained evidence.

Pugh was arrested last year after trying to travel to Turkey and enter Syria through a border crossing, said The New York Daily News

The FBI had received information about Pugh back in 2001 when one of Pugh's co-workers at American Airlines told law enforcement how Pugh talked about supporting Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Pugh could serve as much as 35 years behind bars when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis on Sept. 16.

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Tairod Pugh, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was convicted by a Brooklyn federal jury Wednesday of attempting to provide support to a terror organization and obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to join ISIS.
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Thursday, 10 Mar 2016 11:53 AM
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