ISIS: U.S. Air Force Veteran Arrested For Allegedly Trying To Join Islamic State

Air Force veteran, Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, was arrested for attempting to join ISIS. The former United States Military member was captured when he reportedly attempted to enter Syria during his search for Islamic State members.

Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh was a mechanic in the U.S. Air Force and is an American citizen. The charges levied against the veteran who allegedly attempted to join ISIS include attempted obstruction of an official proceeding, attempting to provide material support to a terror organization, and obstruction.

The Department of Justice put out a statement which said that Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh had been living overseas in the Middle East for at least a year after leaving the U.S. Air Force. During that time, the veteran reportedly supported himself by working for several companies as an airplane mechanic and as an “avionics specialist.”

After Pugh was reportedly fired from his last job in the Middle East, he traveled from Egypt to Turkey in an alleged attempt to join ISIS. The American veteran was thwarted by Turkish authorities when he tried to cross the border into Syria.

“Pugh, an American citizen and former member of our military, allegedly abandoned his allegiance to the United States and sought to provide material support to ISIL,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said.

Excerpt from the DOJ statement about the U.S. Air Force veteran allegedly attempting to join ISIS:

“Upon his arrival in Egypt, the defendant was carrying multiple electronic devices, including four USB thumb drives that had been stripped of their plastic casings and an iPod that had been wiped clean of data. The defendant also had a cellular telephone that contained, among other things, a photograph of a machine gun. The defendant was soon thereafter deported to the United States.”

A search warrant was issued for Pugh’s laptop by United States officials on January 14. The search of the device reportedly uncovered internet searches for “borders controlled by Islamic state,” as well as searches for details regarding border crossings between Turkey and Syria and ISIS posts, the DOJ the statement said.

The DOJ release concerning the U.S. Air Force veteran and his alleged bid to join ISIS also said,

“Born and raised in the United States, Pugh allegedly turned his back on his country and attempted to travel to Syria in order to join a terrorist organization. We will continue to vigorously prosecute extremists, whether based here or abroad, to stop them before they are able to threaten the United States and its allies.”

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