NATIONAL NEWS

US Army soldier pleads guilty to trying to contact terrorists to ambush Army soldiers in Middle East

Jun 14, 2023, 1:49 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. Army soldier duped into thinking he was communicating online with a terrorist when it was really an FBI employee pleaded guilty Wednesday to seeking to tell terrorists how to ambush U.S. soldiers in the Middle East.

Cole Bridges, 22, entered pleas in Manhattan federal court to trying to provide material support to terrorists and trying to murder U.S. military service members. He could face up to 20 years in prison on each of the two charges at a Nov. 2 sentencing.

Bridges, of Stow, Ohio, has been incarcerated since his January 2021 arrest, which occurred while he was based in Fort Stewart, Georgia, with the Third Infantry Division, where the private was a cavalry scout. He joined the Army in September 2019.

According to court documents, Bridges was 19 when he began researching and consuming online propaganda promoting jihadists in 2019.

Authorities said he expressed support on social media for the Islamic State militant group and for jihad before he began communicating in October 2020 with an FBI employee posing as an Islamic State group supporter who was in contact with the group’s fighters in the Middle East.

At his plea hearing, Bridges acknowledged that he tried to provide material support to Islamic State group members.

“The support I provided included tactical advice, hand-drawn diagrams of potential troop maneuvers, pages from the Army Field Manual regarding troop movements and combat tactics, and a propaganda video,” he told Judge Lewis J. Liman.

“In providing such training and advice, I also knowingly attempted to assist the efforts of ISIS to repel and kill American soldiers engaged in official duties in the Middle East. I knew at that time that ISIS was a terrorist organization and had engaged in terrorist activity. I also knew that my conduct was wrong,” he said.

In court papers, investigators said Bridges, also known as Cole Gonzales, expressed frustration with the U.S. military during his online chats.

After the court proceeding, Bridges became emotional as he was reunited with his father for the first time in three years before he was led back to jail. His attorney, Sabrina Shroff, declined comment.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement: “As he admitted in court today, Cole Bridges attempted to orchestrate a murderous ambush on his fellow soldiers in service of ISIS and its violent ideology. Bridges’s traitorous conduct was a betrayal of his comrades and his country.”

National News

FILE - Protesters shout before a speaking engagement by Ben Shapiro on the campus of the University...

Associated Press

Few Americans say conservatives can speak freely on college campuses, AP-NORC/UChicago poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans view college campuses as far friendlier to liberals than to conservatives when it comes to free speech, with adults across the political spectrum seeing less tolerance for those on the right, according to a new poll. Overall, 47% of adults say liberals have “a lot” of freedom to express their views […]

7 hours ago

Fencer Kirsten Hawkes poses for a portrait at a fencing studio Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, in San Dieg...

Associated Press

Forced kiss claim leads to ‘helplessness’ for accuser who turned to Olympics abuse-fighting agency

DENVER (AP) — When Kirsten Hawkes, a one-time elite fencer, reached out to her childhood coach for advice about starting her own fencing club, their meeting turned awkward right away. It began, she said, with an unwanted kiss on the lips when the two met at a bar during a fencing tournament in Minneapolis last […]

7 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom wait for reporters to leave the room du...

Associated Press

California governor to name Laphonza Butler, former Kamala Harris adviser, to Feinstein Senate seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom will name Laphonza Butler, a Democratic strategist and adviser to Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a spokesman in his office said Sunday. In choosing Butler, Newsom fulfilled his pledge to appoint a Black woman […]

8 hours ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks in Clinton Township, Mich., Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. ...

Associated Press

Donald Trump says he will be in courtroom for New York trial scrutinizing his business practices

NEW YORK (AP) — With control over some of his most prized real estate holdings in jeopardy, former President Donald Trump says he will make a rare, voluntary trip to court Monday for the start of a civil trial in a lawsuit that has already resulted in a judge ruling that he committed fraud in […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Arizona’s biggest city has driest monsoon season since weather service began record-keeping in 1895

PHOENIX (AP) — After a summer of extreme heat, Arizona’s most populous city is in the record books again. This time Phoenix is notching a record for dry heat. The National Weather Service said the monsoon season this year in the arid Southwest dropped only 0.15 inches (.38 centimeters) of rainfall from June 15 to […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

A woman who fled the Maui wildfire on foot has died after weeks in a hospital burn unit

HONOLULU (AP) — A woman who escaped a wildfire that destroyed Hawaii community by running through a burning field has died after spending more than seven weeks in a hospital burn unit. Laurie Allen died Friday at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, according to a gofundme page set up for her and her husband, Perry […]

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

US Army soldier pleads guilty to trying to contact terrorists to ambush Army soldiers in Middle East