Prosecutors: Former AF Honor Guard member schemed to join Islamic State
By MIKE FITZGERALD | Belleville News-Democrat (Tribune News Service) | Published: March 8, 2016
A U.S. war vet who once helped bury fallen colleagues in the Air Force Honor Guard later schemed to join ISIS, prosecutors said Monday at the start of his terror trial, according to the New York Post.
In one of the first U.S. trials of an American tied to ISIS, Tairod Pugh, 48, is charged with attempting to provide support to terrorists and obstruction of justice. He faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
"The defendant turned his back on the country he once pledged to serve," Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Bini said in front of a packed courtroom that included U.S. Attorney Robert Capers.
Formerly of Neptune, N.J., Pugh served for four years in the military in the early 1990s before taking a string of jobs as an aircraft mechanic, prosecutors said.
Distressed by the state of the Muslim world, the convert drifted toward extremism and eventually moved to the Middle East and married an Egyptian woman in 2014, prosecutors said.