Kent State University Professor Under FBI Investigation For Alleged Ties To ISIS

From the NY Daily News:
The FBI has been investigating a controversial Ohio professor for alleged involvement with Islamic State terrorists.

Students and colleagues of Kent State History academic Julio Pino have been interviewed after concerns that he could be recruiting pupils to join ISIS, an unnamed FBI agent told student paperKentWired.com.

The associate professor told the site that he does not support Islamic State and has never discussed the group in his classes.

Pino, who is teaching two classes this semester, generally focuses on Latin America and is currently working on a study of African Muslim slaves in Brazil during the 19th century.

He said that he has not been contacted by either the authorities or Kent State about the investigation against him, though an FBI spokeswoman confirmed it to the Daily News.

University spokesman Eric Mansfield said that the institution had been contacted and was fully cooperating with the feds.

A statement from Kent State added, “As this is an ongoing investigation, we will have no further comment. The FBI has assured Kent State that there is no threat to campus.”

The FBI’s investigation of the former Fulbright Scholar, which reportedly has lasted for more than a year and a half, is not the first time that he has come under scrutiny by law enforcement.

The Secret Service said in 2009 that it was looking into Pino “as an individual who came to our attention who needed to be interviewed,” according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

Facing another investigation, Pino told Kent Wired, “My current status is that I’m a citizen of the United States with all the rights and obligations that that entails. I follow the law.”

“I advocate that others do as well, and I ask others to respect my freedom of speech as I respect theirs.”

Pino, who has been at Kent State since 1992 and has tenure, previously made headlines nationwide for controversial opinions on the Middle East.

The pro-Palestine professor yelled “Death to Israel” during a speech by former Israeli diplomat Ishmael Khaldi in 2011, which led to public criticism from then-university president Lester Lefton.

In 2002, he wrote a eulogy for a teenage Palestinian suicide bomber published in the student newspaper.

Among those interviewed recently by investigators was Emily Mills, the Kent Wired's current editor.

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