KENT, Ohio (WKBN) – Controversy continued Wednesday at Kent State University over the reported controversial and anti-Semitic statements Associate History Professor Julio Pino is alleged to have been making since 2007.
The FBI confirmed to WKBN that an investigation is underway at Kent State but released no further details of its investigation. Multiple news outlets reported that the FBI is investigating a link between Pino and the terrorist group ISIS, but Pino denied having any ties to the group.
“Everything that I have done, as far as I know, including what my lawyers have told me is perfectly legal. I have not broken the law. I do not advocate that anyone breaks the law, so I stand by that statement,” Pino told KentWired in an interview.
Kent State University spokesman Eric Mansfield said the university is cooperating with the FBI.
“The FBI has assured Kent State that there is no threat to campus,” he said via email Tuesday night.
Mansfield said he could not comment on the particulars of the investigation.
According to Kent State’s website, Pino specializes in Latin American history and the third world, and his current research project is a study of nineteenth-century African Muslim slaves and free persons in Brazil.
Wednesday, Kent State University President Beverly Warren called his comments reprehensible, and said the university does not defend his views.
“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,” she said via a statement on the university’s website.
Kent’s campus was heated up by the controversy over Professor Pino. WKBN talked with several students, including Sam Stowe, had been in one of his classes.
“I had him for modern world history. It was one of the intro classes, and as far as I can think, he never said anything that offended me personally or made me think he was some radical,” Stowe said.