Air Force veteran convicted of supporting ISIS denied acquittal

U.S. Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh
U.S. Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh

A federal judge has denied Tairod Pugh’s request for acquittal after he was convicted of attempting to provide support to a terror organization.

According to court documents, the U.S. Air Force veteran filed a standard post-conviction “Rule 29” motion for acquittal.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis, a Senior United States District Judge serving on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, denied the acquittal yesterday -upholding the decision made by a Brooklyn jury in March.

Pugh, 48, spent four years in the Air Force in the early 1990s where he became a skilled airplane mechanic. After his time in the Air Force he had been drifting across the Middle East in the year before his arrest in January 2015, finding work at small American airlines that flew in and out of far-flung military bases on Pentagon contracts, according to the NY Times.

Pugh was accused of downloading more than 70 ISIS videos and penning a letter to his wife, which was never sent, pledging his support for the terror group.

“I am a sword against the oppressor and a shield for the oppressed,” the letter read. “I will use the talents and skills given to me by Alllah to establish and defend the Islamic States.”

The former service member was the first American to be convicted by jury in a U.S. courtroom for attempting to provide support to the Islamic State.

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