An active-duty US Army soldier was arrested this morning in Georgia on terrorism charges after he spoke online with under undercover FBI agent he thought was a member of ISIS about plots to blow up New York City’s 9/11 Memorial and attack service members in the Middle East, authorities said on Tuesday.
Cole James Bridges of Stow, Ohio, was in federal custody on charges of attempted material support of a terrorist organization — the Islamic State group — and attempted murder of a military member, said Nicholas Biase, a spokesperson for Manhattan federal prosecutors.
The 20-year-old private first class in the US Army, also known as Cole Gonzales, was with the Third Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, when he thought he was communicating with ISIS online about the terrorism plots, Biase said.
Federal agents on Tuesday arrest Pfc Cole James Bridges, 20, aka, Cole Gonzales, for allegedly trying to help ISIS attack targets in New York City. A criminal complaint shows screenshots of Bridges' social media page (pictured above)Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
According to the complaint, just months after joining the US Army in 2019, Bridges began researching online propaganda promoting jihadists
Bridges allegedly provided the bogus ISIS contact with detailed instructions on tactics and manuals and advice about attacking the 9/11 Memorial in New York City
Unbeknownst to Bridges, a federal agent was in on the chat as Bridges provided detailed instructions on tactics and manuals and advice about attacking the memorial and other targets in New York City, Biase said.
'As we allege today, Bridges, a private in the U.S. Army, betrayed our country and his unit when he plotted with someone he believed was an ISIS sympathizer to help ISIS attack and kill U.S. soldiers in the Middle East,' said William Sweeney Jr., head of New York City’s FBI office.
A message that was purportedly sent by Bridges to the undercover agent showed a flag often used by ISIS fighters