A Kent State University professor is being investigated by the FBI for possibly supporting ISIS based on photos he posted to Facebook.
The FBI is looking into whether Julio Pino actually supported the terrorist group and if he recruited any of his students to join, according to The Daily Beast.
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Pino publicly shared photos of ISIS militants with one appearing to be a screenshot from a recruitment video.
Making things even more suspicious, Pino commented “Keep it a secret: that's me on the left!” underneath a photo that shows two masked men with guns in the back of a truck.
In an another photo, Pino stands in front of the U.S. Capitol building with a cryptic comment alluding to 9/11.
“I told Ziad Jarah to head for the Capitol, but did he listen? No!”
The comment was in reference to the United Flight 93 hijacking by Ziad Jarrah. The flight was headed to Washington D.C. but crashed in Pennsylvania.
When asked by the university’s newspaper if he supported ISIS, Pino denied having connections to the group.
“I’ve not broken the law,” Pino reportedly said. “I don’t advocate that anyone else break the law, so I’ll stand by that statement that I fulfill my duties as an American citizen by speaking out on issues that some people find controversial, of course, but no, I have not violated any laws that I’m aware of or that anyone has informed me of. … And I ask others to respect my freedom of speech as I respect theirs.”
Kent State’s president took to Twitter to distance the university from the faculty member’s comments.
This is not the first time Pino has made controversial remarks, yet he has still been entrusted to “educate” young adults.
In 2011 he reportedly shouted “Death to Israel!” during a lecture by an Israeli diplomat. It is one thing to hold unpopular beliefs in your personal life with your own children, relatives or friends but sharing those beliefs to a broader community can be dangerous.
Pino may not have “broken the law,” as he emphasizes, but what about a colleague or student who may be influenced by his photos and commentary to then start supporting or possibly join the dangerous organization?
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Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Dado Ruvic