(NEW YORK) — With the nation on high alert and acting on guidance from the FBI regarding planned attacks at all 50 U.S. capitals, a credible threat ended with the arrest of an American soldier who plotted an attack in New York City.
Identified as Private First Class Cole James Bridges, the active duty soldier was stationed in Fort Stewart and, as of Tuesday, is now in federal custody.
Bridges, who joined the Army in 2019, is accused and charged with attempting to aid and abet ISIS as well as carrying out an attack at a NYC landmark with the intent of murdering U.S. service members.
Bridges, who hails from Ohio, allegedly spoke to an undercover FBI agent about his plot to carry out an ISIS-inspired attack on the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
The soldier stands accused of providing tactical military advice to ISIS on how to ambush overseas American soldiers, say federal prosecutors. New York feds added that Bridges “betrayed the oath he swore” by offering his expertise to the extremists.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, when reading the charges, “Our troops risk their lives for our country, but they should never face such peril at the hands of one of their own.”
The charges are giving military advice and guidance on how to kill fellow soldiers to enemies of the nation. In addition, he is accused of disseminating advice on potential targets in NYC to ISIS, as well as handing over snippets of a U.S. Army training manual and offered advice on military combat tactics.
Bridges, while serving as a cavalry scout in the 3rd Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Georgia, he began consuming online propaganda that sympathized with jihadists and their ideology — and soon echoing support of ISIS.