Imagine my shock when people started emailing this week to inform me that my old nemesis Professor Julio Pino was being investigated for “allegedly” trying to recruit people into ISIS. It was about as shocking as finding out that Elton John is still gay and that Sean Penn is still angry. Regrettably, some people are already putting the wrong spin on the story so I will have to weigh back in. After all, it’s been nine years since I first exposed this guy for “allegedly” recruiting people to kill innocent Americans.
About a day after the story of the current investigation broke a Fox News contributor had already gotten it wrong. In his interview with Steve Doocy, the contributor suggested that Pino might simply be trying to gain attention. True, there were his past statements in support of Osama Bin Laden and other specific terrorists and terrorist actions. But maybe he didn’t really mean it. Or maybe he was simply trying to appear “cutting edge” or “avant garde.” Unfortunately, a brief overview of the facts will not allow such an interpretation to stand.
After I first broke the Julio Pino story here on Town Hall in February of 2007, I was asked to appear on Fox News Live with Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly. During that interview, Hemmer did some solid reporting. He grilled me on whether I had falsely accused Pino of posting bomb making instructions on his “Global War” blog along with specific pleas to other terrorists to use the bombs to kill American troops. Hemmer pointed out that if it was Pino he was using both a pseudonym and a fake picture.
Fortunately, I had done my homework. With the help of an Ohio blogger, Pino was lured into an exchange while he was using the email address and name of the Global War blogger. We then 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. But he used a private email address.
Fortunately, we were able to further corroborate his identity. Pino’s department chair slipped up and admitted that Pino had confessed to writing for the Global War blog. Later, a producer from Britt Hume called Pino and got a direct admission that he had confessed his involvement with Global War to his department chair. Kent State knew everything and they knew it early.
This early evidence of Pino trying to shield his identity with pseudonyms is important. It shows that Pino is not motivated by a need to appear “avant garde” or “cutting edge.” Had that been the case he would not have used the pseudonym or the fake picture. The fact that he no longer uses them and instead openly advocates violence is easy to explain. We caught him doing it secretly so he no longer has that option.
But would Pino dare to recruit young people and try to convince them to engage in acts of violence in the name of Jihad? And would he be likely to do it on the campus of Kent State University? Yes. And yes.
Authorities should direct their attention to the first time Pino advocated violence in the name of Jihad. It was a 2002 article in which he praised a young female Palestinian suicide bomber and tried to convince other young people to engage in the same acts of terrorism. How did he do that? By arguing that she and other suicide bombers would spend eternity on the “golden couch of paradise” because they had killed in the name of Allah.
And where was that article urging young people to blow themselves up to be in heaven with Allah printed? Of all places, it was the Kent State student newspaper. And who reads that paper? Students at Kent State read that paper.
Maybe I am being unfair. After all, Pino recently told a Washington newspaper that he does not support war. “I support no violence or violent organizations. One man or one woman’s interpretation of events can be very different from another’s. As they say, ‘Haters gonna hate.’ Truth always prevails, and truth will prevail in this case.”
Well, I certainly hope the truth does prevail, Julio. There are a lot of disturbed young people out there who would deny the existence of absolute truth the way you do. And, truth be told, they are the people who scare me the most. If nothing is really true, there is nothing they won’t do. Nothing is really evil.
Julio Pino is obviously a physically petite runt who lacks the testicular fortitude to actually attack people directly. That much is certainly true. And his ramblings are so bizarre it seems difficult to imagine that he could persuade young people to do anything.
Of course, people said the same of Charles Manson. But Manson was persistent and always remained in places where he could be left alone to prey upon the lost and the confused. Let’s hope Julio Pino hasn’t found his Haight Ashbury.