Trial ends for US Air Force vet charged with Islamic State support

NEW YORK – Tairod Pugh, a US Air Force veteran, spent months downloading violent Islamic State videos before boarding a one-way flight from his home in Egypt to Turkey in January 2015. His intention, federal prosecutors said at the close of his trial in New York on Tuesday, was to cross into Syria and join the militant group’s fighting force. “He knew his skills as an airplane mechanic would be useful to ISIS,” said Assistant US Attorney Tiana Demas, using a common acronym for Islamic State. But Pugh’s defense attorney, Eric Creizman, told jurors that the fact Pugh shared “repugnant” views on Islamic State did not make him guilty of a crime. His visit to Turkey was an effort to find new employment, Creizman said. “Mr. Pugh never had any intention of going to the Islamic State,” he said. “Where is that evidence?” The case against Pugh, 48, is only the second of more than 75 Islamic State-related prosecutions brought by the US Department of Justice to reach trial.



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