The Justice Department along with the New York City Police Department and the Army’s Counterintelligence (CI) unit announced on January 19 that a U.S. soldier was arrested on terrorism charges for allegedly attempting to help the Islamic State (ISIS) attack U.S. troops in the Middle East. PFC Cole James Bridges, aka Cole Gonzales, 20, has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and attempting to murder U.S. military servicemembers.
The FBI and military CI agents arrested Bridges at his base at Ft. Stewart, GA. He will appear later today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.
“Bridges is charged with giving military advice and guidance on how to kill fellow soldiers to individuals he thought were part of ISIS,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said. “This alleged personal and professional betrayal of comrades and country is terrible to contemplate, but fortunately, the FBI was able to identify the threat posed by Bridges, and today’s charges are the first step in holding him accountable for his crimes. ISIS ideology continues to infect those who would threaten the nation’s security from within and without, and we will continue to fight this threat,” he added.
The Army released a statement acknowledging the threat and betrayal of Bridges.
“The Army is tasked with the duty and responsibility to protect our Nation from its adversaries, and Soldiers make incredible sacrifices in service to that cause. When any Soldier attempts to provide sensitive or classified information to an adversary, it is a betrayal of the oath they swore to the United States and the duty owed to their fellow Soldiers,” an Army spokesman said.
“This Soldier’s recent arrest was the result of a joint investigation between the Army and the FBI, and the Army will continue to work closely with federal authorities in this case,” the spokesman added.