U.S. soldier arrested for attempting to assist Islamic State: Department of Justice

FILE PHOTO: The Department of Justice logo is seen on the podium during a news conference on the Gozi Virus in New York January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Army soldier was arrested on federal terrorism charges for allegedly attempting to assist Islamic State conduct a deadly ambush on U.S. troops, the Department of Justice said in a statement on Tuesday.

Cole James Bridges, 20, a Private First Class in the U.S. Army, was “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 Demers said in the statement.

The Department of Justice said Bridges, who joined the U.S. Army in 2019, began communicating online last year with a covert employee of the FBI posing as a supporter of the Islamic State.

It said he expressed support of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham on social media, provided training and guidance to purported Islamic State fighters planning attacks, gave advice on potential targets in New York City and diagrammed military maneuvers, among other actions.

Reporting by Timothy Ahmann and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Howard Goller