Kent State president calls Pino's comments 'reprehensible'

RAW: Kent State professor speaks out about ISIS investigation
Julio Pino's house in Kent. (Source: WOIO)
Julio Pino's house in Kent. (Source: WOIO)

KENT, OH (WOIO) - Kent State President Beverly Warren took to social media Wednesday to calm fears of parents and students. It has been revealed a professor is under investigation for possible terrorist ties.

According to an FBI source, a joint terrorism task force has been investigating Julio Pino for his alleged involvement with ISIS.

Officials say the associate history professor is also accused of allegedly recruiting students to join ISIS.

Pino defended himself speaking to Kent State student media.

"I've not broken the law. I don't advocate that anyone else break the law, so I'll stand by that statement. 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 U.S. laws that I am aware of," Pino said.

He went on to say he does not agree with ISIS and its ideologies, and has never even talked about the group while in class.

Cleveland 19 went to Kent and spoke with one of Pino's neighbors. She says she doesn't have a problem with the Pino.

"I don't think I know anything about it and his political affairs are his business. I'm perfectly happy having someone living there that thinks differently from me," said Carol Gould.

Pino teaches two classes that focus on Latin America. He's been on the FBI's radar since 2014.

Pino's been in the news before for his controversial views of the Middle East. He yelled "Death to Israel" during a speech by a former Israeli diplomat in 2011. In 2002, he wrote a eulogy for a teenage Palestinian suicide bomber that was published in the student newspaper.

Eric Mansfield, Kent State Executive Director, University Media Relations released the following statement:

Kent State is fully cooperating with the FBI and its on going investigation. KSU will have no further comments at this time. The FBI has assured that there are no threats to the KSU campus.

Before releasing an official statement Kent State President Beverly Warren took to Twitter early Wednesday morning to assure students and parents the campus is safe.

Dear Members of the Kent State Community,
Many of you have heard unsettling news overnight that the FBI has been on our Kent Campus investigating a serious matter. We are cooperating with the FBI, and we have been assured that there is no indication of a threat to campus. As this is an ongoing investigation, it is not prudent to speak further about the case.
We continue to find Julio Pino's comments reprehensible and counter to our core values of civil discourse and respect. As a university, we do not defend his views, and he does not speak on behalf of Kent State or members of our community.
Campus safety continues to be our top priority at Kent State, and we remain committed to providing a safe learning environment for our community.
Beverly Warren

President Warren condemned Pino's past comments and emphasized he does not speak on behalf of Kent State.

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