Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, a former U.S. Air Force mechanic, has been charged with trying to join ISIS, according to authorities. He was also charged with providing information and material to support the terrorist organization. The indictment stated Pugh was terminated from a mechanic job in Kuwait in December. Following his termination, he traveled from Egypt to Turkey in January, before attempting to cross into Syria via the Turkish border to join ISIS.
Pugh served in the U.S. Air Force from 1986 to 1990. He was an avionics instrument specialist, according to documents filed by the court. After further investigation, he was let go from the Air Force and has since took multiple jobs in the Middle East as a mechanic.
Turkish border authorities did not allow Pugh into the country; they sent him back on flight to Egypt. He was then deported to the United States, after it was discovered that he had acquired suspicious items, such as pictures of a military-grade machine gun. Pugh was promptly arrested on January 16, though further details regarding him being taken into custody and his charges have not been released.
Investigators searched his laptop and unveiled online searches about border crossing points controlled by ISIS, and videos and images that showed ISIS executions. Furthermore, although Pugh is an American citizen, there were online postings that inferred his desire to leave the U.S. to join a terrorist organization.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Christopher Ebdon – Flickr License