A New York federal court has found a US Air Force veteran guilty of trying to join the self-styled Islamic State (IS), BBC reports.

 

Tairod Pugh, who converted to Islam, allegedly tried to cross into Syria from Turkey weeks after he was sacked from his job as a mechanic in Egypt.

 

He was denied entry and extradited. He faces up to 35 years in prison.

 

It is the US government's first trial victory in more than 75 prosecutions related to IS sympathisers since 2014.

 

Prosecutors said Pugh, 48, immersed himself in violent IS propaganda before buying a one-way flight from his home in Egypt to Turkey.

 

He drafted a letter to his Egyptian wife that was found on his computer in which he said he had two options, "victory or martyr", prosecutors said.

 

He also took with him to Istanbul a black face mask, a map showing IS strongholds in Syria and a map of border crossings between Turkey and Syria.

 

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.

 

Only one other IS-related prosecution has reached trial in the US.

 

Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem is on trial in Phoenix for plotting with others to attack a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas.

 

Two of his alleged associates were killed in a shootout with police at the event.

 

 

 

Photo: bbc.com

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