New York court sentences US Air Force vet to 35 years for attempting to join ISIS

US Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh, who was convicted of attempting to join ISIS, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison. During the sentencing hearing, Pugh claimed that he is innocent. “My only regret is that it’s taken me so long to recognize how frightened and racist my country has become,” he said.
Tairod Pugh Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

US Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh, who was convicted of attempting to join ISIS, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday by a New York federal judge. Before the sentence was handed down, Pugh addressed the court, claiming that he is innocent.

“I am a black man. I am a military man. I am a Muslim man," Pugh said. “I protected this country and the constitution. And my service was repaid by dishonoring my name.” Pugh spoke for about 30 minutes before the judge cut him off. He said that he never did anything wrong and that he received unfair treatment because of his race and religion. “My only regret is that it’s taken me so long to recognize how frightened and racist my country has become,” he said.  

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However, the judge said that the jury members had enough evidence in order to convict him. During the trial, the prosecution presented ISIS propaganda videos that were found on his personal computer and posts that Pugh uploaded to Facebook voicing his support for the murderous terrorist organization.

“This isn't about whether you're Muslim or Christian or Jewish,” the judge stated. “This is about whether you’re going to stand up for your country or betray your country, which has done so much for you...You've made your choice, sir. I have no sympathy.”



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