Kent State University associate professor of history Julio Pino has been accused of ties with the Islamic State, and has apparently been the target of and FBI investigation for over a year.
Pino has been known for being vocal about his views towards the state of Israel, having shouted “Death to Israel!!” during the question and answer period of a lecture by an Israeli diplomat at KSU in 2011. Known as a radical, Pino has nonetheless been published in numerous academic journals and is a specialist in Latin American and Third World poverty.
Although accused of ties to or recruitment for far right Salafist group D’aesh, or IS or ISIS/ISIL, no direct ties to or praise for that group have been found on any of his social media accounts or have been alluded to by his students. Pino’s support of an end to Palestinian occupation have indeed been well documented, however, including a poem he wrote praising a Palestinian teen over a suicide bombing and an open letter he wrote to his fellow academics criticizing support for the Israeli Occupation.
Despite these statements, as the federal government or the media has not made public any statements tying Pino to D’aesh, and as this group has no substantial ties to any group promoting the Palestinian Liberation movement, no informed comment can be made on the charges against him.
As of this writing, Professor Pino could not be reached for comment, though KSU President Beverly Warren has stated in a tweet that “Prof. Pino doesn’t speak on behalf of @KentState. We find his comments reprehensible & counter to our core values.” Though she does not state what these “core values” are, nor if Professor Pino violated any aspects of the Kent State charter of conduct, an observer must infer from this statement that President Warren wishes to avoid controversy in this matter.