A former airman has been charged with trying to cross from Turkey to Syria to join the Islamic State terrorist group, according to federal court documents.
In January, Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh was indicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York, for allegedly trying to provide “material support and resources” to the Islamic State. The indictment was unsealed Monday.
Pugh, 47, served in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990, according to an affidavit in support of a warrant for his arrest.
“He worked as an avionics instrument system specialist and received training in the installation and maintenance of aircraft engine, navigation and weapons systems,” the affidavit says. “After moving to San Antonio, Texas, in or about 1998, Hugh converted to Islam and became increasingly radical in his beliefs.”
Pugh separated from the Air Force in October 1990 as an airman first class, avionics guidance and control systems specialist, said Mike Dickerson, a spokesman for the Air Force Personnel Center.
“Duty assignments included the 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in July 1989 and the 581st Aircraft Generation Squadron at Woodbridge Air Base, UK, in July 1987,” Dickerson said in an email to Air Force Times.
On Pugh’s Linkedin profile, he says has been a maintenance manager with Gryphon Airlines in Kuwait since September. He also says he has “23 years of combined experience in Air Force and A&P/Avionic Tech”