Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh is a U.S. Air Force veteran who has been charged with supporting and trying to join the Islamic state. He was born and raised in the United States. He is charged with the attempt to provide arms and ammunition and other material in support of the militant group.
Pugh worked as a specialist in the U.S. Air Force from 1986 to 1990. In 1998, he moved to San Antonio and converted to Islam. In 2001, he worked with American Airlines as a mechanic, during which time he expressed to one of his colleagues that he supported the militant group and would fight for them. He worked in Iraq from 2009 to 2010 as an Army contractor.
U.S authorities and investigators found a letter to his wife on his laptop that stated that he has intention to join and support the Islamic state group. They also found videos showing Islamic state militants executing prisoners.
Pugh was detained in Istanbul by the Turkish authorities and was sent back to Cairo, Egypt where he was living. His goal was to cross the border into Syria and join the militants. He was deported to the US, where he confessed the details of his attempt to join ISIS.
Pugh will be on trial in a Brooklyn Federal Court. The U.S District Judge will consider the testimony of an undercover FBI agent in a sealed courtroom in order to protect his identity and all the information will be recorded in an audio tape. This testimony will be broadcast in a separate courtroom for the public.
If Pugh is convicted, he may face a sentence of a maximum of 35 years.