FBI Investigating Professor Over Alleged ISIS Ties

Federal authorities interview colleagues and students of Kent State professor Julio Pino, an anti-Israel Muslim convert, who denies supporting the terrorist group.

Julio Pino
YouTube screenshot

An anti-Israel professor in Ohio is suspected of being involved with Islamic State terrorists, according to his university's newspaper.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are investigating Julio Pino, an associate history professor at Kent State and have interviewed several of Pino's colleagues as well as over 20 of his students about his alleged involvement, an FBI special agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to safety reasons, told Kentwired.com

"There is no direct threat to the university," the agent said.

Pino said neither the FBI nor Homeland Security had contacted him, adding that he does not support the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and does not discuss the terrorist group in class, Kentwired.com reported.

“From a legal standpoint, I’m not aware that they’re going after me or charging me with anything,” he said. “I’m not aware of any kind of criminal investigation or charges or anything of that sort.”

Pino denied any wrongdoing.

“I’ve not broken the law,” he 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.”

Pino converted to Islam in 2000, according to Kentwired.com, and has said that he is outspoken about his support for the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel.

He made headlines in 2011 when he shouted "death to Israel" during a lecture being given by Ishmael Khaldi, the first Bedouin diplomat in Israel's Foreign Ministry. Pino also stirred up controversy in 2002 when he praised a suicide bomber in an opinion piece he had written for the Daily Kent Stater.

Kent State spokesman Eric Mansfield declined to comment on Pino's future at the school but did acknowledge the investigation.

“Kent State is fully cooperating with the FBI,” he said. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we will have no further comment.” He added, “The FBI has assured Kent State that there is no threat to campus.”