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Kent State Honored Prof After His Support for Terror Known

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The Kent State University student newspaper recently reported that a terrorism-supporting professor, Julio Pino, received two Faculty Excellence Awards in 2003 and 2010. His open support for terrorism, specifically suicide bombings in Israel, became known in 2002. In the years after, he was even linked to a website dedicated to assisting Al-Qaeda and other terrorists in killing people.

Kent Wired reports that he began teaching for the school in 1992 and earned tenure in 1998. He converted to Islam in 2002 and began openly supporting terrorism two years later. As our research report on Pino documents, he wrote a letter praising a Palestinian suicide bomber in Israel as a "shining star" and asked Allah to "protect the soldiers of Islam fighting in Palestine." He also objected to the terminology of "suicide bombers," preferring to use "martyrdom bombers" because he doesn't believe their acts constitute suicide, which is prohibited in Islam.

The next year, he was honored with a Faculty Excellence Award.

In 2007, it was learned that Pino was writing for a pro-Al-Qaeda website with the stated objective of assisting violent jihadists in acts of terrorism. As you can seen in our screenshots, the website's homepage read at the time:

"We are a jihadist news service, and provide battle dispatches, training manuals and jihad videos for our brothers worldwide. All we want is to get Allah's pleasure. We will write 'jihad' across our foreheads and the stars."

A colleague at the university, Dr. Mike Adams, discovered Pino's deep involvement in the website (Pino was most likely acting as the website’s main administrator). Adams writes: "[We] traced the emails. They were being sent directly from the Kent State office of Professor Julio Pino. Both veiled threats and general advocacy of violence were sent from his public university office." [emphasis mine]

Pino was forced to admit to his involvement in the website. He kept his job despite walking right up to the edge of material support for terrorism. In 2009, Pino was interviewed by the Secret Service. Dr. Adams also published an email allegedly sent by Pino that praised the 9/11 hijackers.

The next year, he was honored with a Faculty Excellence Award.

His overt behavior escalated, including shouting "Death to Israel" at a visiting former Israeli diplomat. Now, it's known that he's been under FBI investigation for the past year and a half for possibly recruiting students for ISIS. The FBI has taken the extraordinary step of interviewing over 20 of his students.

And all we hear from the university is that this is free speech and that he's a "well-respected teacher in the classroom" so he will keep his job. He's teaching two classes now and plans on returning in the fall—that is, unless the people of America compel KSU to change those plans.

 

 

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org