A former mechanic in the Air Force was charged with attempting to arrive in Syria with the objective of joining the Islamic State radical militant groups, said authorities on Tuesday. The veteran, Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh received an indictment against him on Monday by a Brooklyn, New York grand jury on two charges of attempting to give support to a known terror organization.
The indictment says that Pugh had been fired as an airplane mechanic while working in Kuwait in December of 2014. The indictment says that Pugh flew to Turkey from Egypt January 10, in an attempt to cross into Syria from Turkey to join Islamic State and carry out a violent jihad.
Authorities in Turkey would not allow Pugh to enter their country and returned him back to Egypt. He was then deported back to the U.S. from Egypt on January 15, after he was detained stopped and found to be carrying items declared suspicious including a photo of a machine gun.
On January 16, authorities in the U.S. arrested Pugh, but since that date, the case has been sealed.
Searches of a laptop that was Pugh’s turned up queries online about crossing points and borders controlled by IS and videos that showed executions carried out by IS. Postings on different social media show that Pugh repeatedly professed his desire not to return to the U.S. even though his family, including children live in the country.
Pugh is a citizen of the U.S. whose last address was in Neptune, New Jersey. He was in the Air Force from 1986 through 1990, according to court documents. After he left the Air Force, Pugh worked in different companies located in the United States as well as the Middle East specializing as an airplane mechanic and an avionic specialist.
To date authorities have charged 23 Americans with attempting to fight for the radical militant group ISIS or for facilitating an attempt to do the same.