NEW YORK — A U.S. Air Force veteran convicted in New York of terrorism charges for trying to join the Islamic State group and die a martyr will spend 35 years in prison.

Tairod Pugh (TAY'-rahd pyoo), of Neptune, New Jersey, was sentenced Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Pugh was stopped at a Turkish airport in January 2015 carrying a laptop with information on Turkey-Syria border crossing points. They say the laptop also contained 180 jihadist propaganda videos, including footage of a beheading.

Prosecutors cited a letter Pugh wrote to his wife saying there were only two possible outcomes for him: "Victory or martyr."

Pugh's attorney insisted he had no ill intent when he went to Turkey.

Pugh's 2016 conviction was the first verdict from more than 70 cases the government brought against Americans accused of trying to support the militant group.
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