US Air Force veteran convicted of attempting to join Islamic State

Tairod Pugh, 48, convicted after a week-long trial in Brooklyn federal court – the first case of its kind

By Reuters

8:53PM GMT 09 Mar 2016

A US Air Force veteran was found guilty on Wednesday of attempting to join Islamic State, according to his lawyer.

Tairod Pugh, 48, was convicted after a week-long trial in Brooklyn federal court. The case is the first in more than 75 Islamic State-related prosecutions brought since 2014 by the US Department of Justice to reach a jury verdict.

Prosecutors said Pugh immersed himself in violent Islamic State propaganda for months before buying a one-way flight from his home in Egypt to Turkey, where he hoped to cross the Syrian border into territory controlled by the extremist group.

He was detained by Turkish authorities at an Istanbul airport and eventually flown to the United States to face terrorism charges.

Pugh's defence lawyers argued that his only offence was to express "repugnant" views about Islamic State in Facebook posts and to watch dozens of the group's slickly produced recruitment videos. They said he travelled to Turkey to find work, not to become a jihadist.

But prosecutors pointed to a letter he drafted to his Egyptian wife, found on his laptop, in which he vowed to fight for Islam and declared he had two options: "Victory or Martyr." The letter was written days before he flew to Turkey, though it was unclear whether he ever sent it.

He also took with him to Istanbul a black face mask, a map depicting Islamic State's strongholds in Syria and a chart of the border crossings between Turkey and Syria.

Only one other Islamic State-related US prosecution has reached trial. In Phoenix, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem is on trial for plotting with others to attack a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas. Two of his alleged associates were killed in a shoot-out with police at the event.

Pugh served as an avionics specialist in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990 and later worked as an Army contractor in Iraq from 2009 to 2010, prosecutors said.

In addition to attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organisation, Pugh also was convicted of obstruction for destroying four portable electronic storage devices after his detention in Turkey, local media reported.

RAF 'foiled ISIS airline terror plot to bomb four UK cities after cracking pop song code'

24 JAN 2016


Two pilots, who were leaving Amsterdam's airport Schiphol for a Middle Eastern country, used coded language which made reference to pop music, it is claimed

The RAF foiled an Islamic State terror plot to bomb four UK cities after intercepting suspicious chatter between commercial airline pilots, it has been claimed.

The suspected jihadists made references to attacks on London, Brighton, Bath and Ipswich in the days after the Paris massacre last November, it was reported.

The two pilots, who were leaving Amsterdam's airport Schiphol for a Middle Eastern country, used coded language which made reference to pop music, the Sunday Express claims.

But it was reportedly cracked by GCHQ experts who believed the pair were planning to smuggle in explosives or chemical weapons.

The pair used the emergency 'Mayday' frequency to discuss their plans, it was reported.

The Ministry of Defence said today it would not comment on matters of national security.

The Government considered increasing the terror threat level in Britain to 'critical' from 'severe' in the wake of the attacks on the streets of Paris last November 13 which left 130 dead.

It also emerged last year that defence chiefs have drawn up plans to deploy more than 5,000 troops on the streets of the UK in the event of a terrorist attack.

The plan, codenamed Operation Temperer, would see the army protect key targets alongside armed police.

It comes as France vowed to keep its state of emergency until a 'total and global war' against ISIS has been won.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the country would not relent in its high-security strategy, while also warning Europe's migration crisis was putting EU countries at risk.

The measures give police more power to conduct raids and impose house arrests.

Mr Valls said: "As long as the threat is there, we must use all the means.

"In Africa, in the Middle East, in Asia we must eradicate, eliminate Daesh. It is a total and global war that we are facing with terrorism."











Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag.... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”