Friday 25 May 2018

Police called to US high school after teenage student accused of pledging allegiance to Islamic State

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq. File picture
A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq. File picture

Officials at a Connecticut high school called police after a teenaged student referenced the Islamic State group during a morning recitation of the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, an attorney for the school district and local media said on Thursday.

The police department in Ansonia, Connecticut in turn handed the matter over to the federal Department of Homeland Security, the Connecticut Post reported, citing local police officials and records of a school board meeting in Ansonia where the incident occurred in October.

The 15-year-old boy, who was not identified due to his age, was not charged but was removed from classes at the school after substituting "ISIS," an acronym commonly used for Islamic State, for the words "the United States of America" during the pledge.

An attorney for the Ansonia Board of Education, Floyd Dugas, said school officials had called police "out of an abundance of caution."

"We do not believe at this point that this young man poses any kind of risk," Dugas said, adding that federal and state law prevented the school from saying more on the matter.

Ansonia police said in a statement provided to the newspaper, "We are no longer investigating this matter. The allegation is that the male was allegedly making pro ISIS statements during the Pledge of Allegiance."

Ansonia police officials did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

The United States has been on an elevated state of alert for Islamic State-related attacks after a married couple in December shot dead 14 people in San Bernardino, in an attack inspired by the militant group.

Earlier this month, a man claiming allegiance to Islamic State militants shot and seriously wounded a Philadelphia police officer, according to local police.


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