Cole James Bridges Bio, Wiki
Cole James Bridges is a 20-year-old U.S. soldier stationed out of Georgia who allegedly conspired with someone he thought was in ISIS to attack U.S. landmarks, including the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. He allegedly started to research online propaganda promoting jihadists and their ideology in September 2019; a criminal complaint says he later gave tactical military advice and other tips.
He is a resident of Stow, Ohio.
Bridges is charged with attempted material support for terror and attempting to kill U.S. soldiers; each count carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years; attorney information for him wasn’t clear.
Cole James Bridges Career
Bridges joined the U.S. Army in approximately September 2019 and was assigned as a cavalry scout in the 3rd Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Georgia. As at the beginning of 2019, he began researching and consuming online propaganda promoting jihadists and their violent ideology.
The US soldier also expressed his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS”) and jihad on social media. In or about October 2020, he had begun communicating with an FBI online covert employee (the “OCE”), who was posing as an ISIS supporter in contact with ISIS fighters in the Middle East.
Bridges expressed his frustration with the U.S. military and his desire to aid ISIS during the communications. He then provided training and guidance to purported ISIS fighters who were planning attacks, including advice about potential targets in New York City, such as the 9/11 Memorial. He also provided the OCE with portions of a U.S. Army training manual and guidance about military combat tactics, for use by ISIS.
He began to supply the OCE with instructions for the purported ISIS fighters on how to attack U.S. forces in the Middle East in or about December 2020. Among other things, Bridges diagrammed specific military maneuvers intended to help ISIS fighters maximize the lethality of attacks on U.S. troops. He further provided advice about the best way to fortify an ISIS encampment to repel an attack by U.S. Special Forces, including by wiring certain buildings with explosives to kill the U.S. troops.
In January 2021, he provided the OCE with a video of himself in body armor standing before a flag often used by ISIS fighters and making a gesture symbolic of support for ISIS. Approximately a week later, Bridges sent a second video in which, using a voice manipulator, narrated a propaganda speech in support of the anticipated ambush by ISIS on U.S. troops.
Cole James Bridges Charges
Bridges is charged in the Complaint with (1) attempting to provide material support to ISIS, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and (2) attempting to murder U.S. military service members, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1114, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The statutory penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.
The Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit s handling his prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sam Adelsberg, Matthew Hellman, and Sidhardha Kamaraju are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorneys Michael Dittoe and Lauren Goddard of the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.