US soldier pleads guilty to attempting to help IS

A US army soldier has pleaded guilty to attempting to help the Islamic State (IS) group attack and murder US service members in the Middle East.

The justice department also said he pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Cole Bridges, known as Cole Gonzales, shared information with an undercover federal agent, the department said.

He could face up to 40 years in prison.

Mr Bridges joined the US Army around September 2019 and was based in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

He soon began “researching and consuming online propaganda promoting jihadists and their violent ideology,” according to a US Attorney’s Office statement.

But Mr Bridges began corresponding with a Federal Bureau of Investigation employee in October 2020 who was posing as an IS supporter in contact with members in the Middle East.