A former US air force mechanic has been charged with trying to provide support the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the US Department of Justice said.

Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh was indicted by a New York grand jury charged with attempting to provide material support to the group as well as the attempted obstruction of justice.

Pugh is due to be arraigned on Wednesday morning in New York.

The defendant travelled to Turkey from Egypt and was planning to cross to Syria, the Department of Justice said.

"Born and raised in the United States, Pugh allegedly turned his back on his country and attempted to travel to Syria in order to join a terrorist organization," said US Attorney Loretta E. Lynch in a statement.

"We will continue to vigorously prosecute extremists, whether based here or abroad, to stop them before they are able to threaten the United States and its allies."

Pugh arrived in Turkey in January 2015, the Department of Justice said, but was refused entry and returned to Egypt. He was then deported to the United States and was arrested on January 16 after Join Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) agents found suspicious internet searches on Pugh's laptop computer.

In a later search of Pugh's backpacks, JTTF agents found compasses, a solar powered flashlight, a fatigue jacket and camping clothes.