News surfaced Tuesday that a former U.S. Air Force veteran was covertly arrested two months ago for attempting to join the Islamic State terrorists to help them fight their bloody jihad against the West.
Information about the arrest of Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh of Asbury Park, N.J., became public when federal prosecutors charged him with attempting to provide material support to a terror organization and obstruction of justice, according to Fox News.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a news release.
Pugh was a former avionics specialist for the Air Force and received “training in the installation and maintenance of aircraft engine, navigation and weapons systems,” prosecutors said.
Pugh had been living in the Middle East for at least one year before his arrest and was working as an airline mechanic, Fox News reported. It’s an especially disturbing scenario considering how easily aircraft – including commercial aircraft – can be used as devastating weapons.
Pugh was apprehended in Turkey after a failed attempt to try and meet up with ISIS in Syria, presecutors said. Turkish officials stopped Pugh and sent him back to Egypt where it is believed he was staying.
Egyptian authorities were able to confiscate incriminating evidence on multiple electronic devices held by Pugh. Downloaded ISIS propaganda videos and numerous Internet searches inquiring into the whereabouts of ISIS and the border situation in Syria, particularly about “Kobani border crossing,” were found on his computer.
Other electronic devices he held at the time of his initial detention had been stripped clean.
“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 ISIS,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said in the statement.
“Identifying and bringing to justice individuals who provide or attempt to provide material support to terrorist is a key priority of the National Security Division,” he said.
Numerous reports have emerged that Pugh had long been suspected of sympathizing with terrorist organizations. According the New York Daily News, a letter to his wife revealed dark plans.
“I am a Mujahid … I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic states … There is only 2 possible outcomes for me. Victory or Martyr.”
Pugh is believed to be the first military veteran to attempt to join ISIS.
He will begin to be brought to justice on Wednesday when he goes before a judge in the East District of New York. He could face a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison for his betrayal.
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