Tim Kennedy, the former Army Special Forces veteran who has fought a few bouts in the UFC, has been getting threats from ISIS on social media – threats that the FBI has deemed “credible,” Army Times is reporting.
Why would ISIS be interested in Tim Kennedy? The MMA fighter was a Green Beret who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Army’s 7th special forces group, fighting against Islamist militants, according to Sport Act. He served several tours on active duty, and even earned the bronze star for valor under fire in 2006.
Since leaving the Army, Tim Kennedy has had a brief, though successful, career in the UFC. His career record in 18-5-0, according to MSN, and he’s currently ranked 6th in UFC’s Middleweight rankings. However, he’s been inactive since September 2014, when he lost to Yoel Romero in a controversial decision. He’s also been “non-committal” about returning to The Octagon, though he’s still officially listed in UFC’s rankings.
Besides his UFC career, Kennedy has also started Sheepdog Response, a consultancy group that teaches self-defense in weapons-handling, martial arts, and other training.
Needless to say, he’s not the type of person that ISIS is fond of, and as it turns out, the FBI believes that ISIS has made some “credible threats” against Kennedy. Writing Wednesday night on his Facebook page, Kennedy said that the FBI let him know ISIS had his number.
“Just spoke with the FBI regarding some recent credible threats towards me by #ISIS They were not overly thrilled with my response… ‘Let those cowards come'”
Speaking to Army Times, Kennedy explained a little further about his discussions with the FBI.
“Apparently a couple of them were legitimate in trying to, from what the FBI said, plan stuff.”
Kennedy said he’s used to getting threats through social media. He says he gets between five and ten threats per day, usually from what he calls “military trolls” – that is, people who dislike the military and its members, and specifically target “high profile” military personnel.
“They said, ‘Are you aware of this stuff?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ They said, ‘We think this is somewhat credible.’ Then I said, ‘I’m kind of desensitized to this stuff, so maybe you should tell me what my level of alarm should be.'”
Kennedy told the Army Times that he’s not going to be deterred by terrorists.
“What’s the definition of terrorism? It’s to achieve an objective through the use of force and fear. These are just nasty, evil, disgusting human beings who disrespect human life. I teach people how to live with threats like this. Who would I be to be cowering to a bunch of gutless cowards acting like a bunch of tough guys online?”
ISIS has killed a number of Americans, according to National Review, although none of those killings took place in the U.S. Some of those Americans killed by ISIS were in the Middle East – either journalists, humanitarian workers, or servicemen, and others died in terrorist attacks in Paris, Mali, Beirut, and other locations.
On December 2, 2015, radicalized Islamists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 people and injured 22 others in a terrorist attack in San Bernadino, California. Though the San Bernadino shooters were “self-radicalized” and were sympathetic to violent jihadists, they were not known to have any direct connection to ISIS or any other terrorist groups.
As of this writing, neither Tim Kennedy nor the FBI has given any further information about those threats, and it’s not known where they came from, who made them, or what, specifically, they were planning or if they’d taken any steps toward following through.
[Photo by Aaron Sweet/Getty Images]