A U.S. Air Force veteran has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn on charges of attempting to support Islamic State, the latest in a string of cases involving American recruits to the militant group.
Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, a 47-year-old U.S. citizen living in New Jersey, allegedly traveled from Egypt to Turkey in January to cross the border to Syria and fight violent jihad for Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Turkish authorities denied his entry and sent him back to Egypt, where he was then deported to the U.S., according to the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office which announced the charges Tuesday.
Federal agents searched his laptop and other electronic devices and found Internet searches for ISIS propaganda videos and other ISIS-related information, officials said. Mr. Pugh was arrested Jan. 16, in Asbury Park, N.J., and has been in custody since. Mr. Pugh was indicted on two criminal counts. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.
Mr. Pugh is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court before U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis. He is represented by federal defender Michael Schneider, who didn’t immediately return requests for comment Tuesday.