Kent State professor under investigation for ISIS ties no stranger to controversy

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KENT, Ohio -- A Kent State University professor is under investigation for possible terrorist ties, and it's surfaced that he's not a stranger of controversy.

The FBI and Homeland Security are both investigating Julio Pino, an associate professor of history.

Emily Mills, the editor of the Daily Kent Stater newspaper, said she's been covering Pino for years. Most recently, she said one of the things he's known for is shouting "death to Israel" during an Israeli diplomat's lecture.

In 2002, he came under fire for praising a suicide bomber in an editorial written for Kent State's newspaper. In 2007, he was accused of writing for an extremist Islamic website, although the university has no proof of that.

According to a report on, a joint terrorism task force has been investigating Pino for a year and a half. The task force has interviewed several faculty members and more than a dozen students.

In an interview with Tuesday night, Pino admitted he has spoken out about controversial issues, but he denied any support of ISIS or knowledge of a federal investigation.

"I am sure there are stories circulating out there...people can take them with a grain of salt if they want to," he said. "But my current status is citizen of the United States for the rights and obligations that entails. I follow the law. I advocate that others do so also. And I ask others to respect my freedom of speech as I do theirs."

Pino has not been charged with anything.

Fox 8 contacted Kent State University about the report, and spokesman Eric Mansfield tells us:

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

The Cleveland Division of the FBI confirms that there is an investigation, but that "it is in regards to an ongoing investigation therefore, additional information cannot be provided at this time."

Continuing coverage here.