Barry University faculty accused of supporting Islamic State terrorists

Recording may be illegal since school administrators didn't consent to it

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – Barry University in Miami Shores is considering legal options after a video released by a conservative activist organization, Project Veritas, claimed faculty at the school supports Islamic State terrorists.

"I'm incensed. It's an insult to who we are," Barry University President Sister Linda Bevilacqua said Monday afternoon after news outlets worldwide reported on the video.

Watching and listening to the nine-minute recording reveals an edited, out-of-context pitch by a student looking for help starting a campus club, as she recorded undercover video and audio of her conversations with various faculty members.

The student, senior Laura Loomer, described the club as a  humanitarian effort, with a goal of helping women and children with support and educational supplies.

The video released claims the faculty members' answers and advice translate into apparent support of Islamic State terrorists.

Loomer is an honors student majoring in communications and is president of Barry University's Young Republicans Club.

James O'Keefe, the head of Project Veritas, told Local 10 News that Loomer contacted him and volunteered to make the video after seeing a similarly staged video the group produced and released at Cornell University.  

Because Loomer did not inform her advisers she was recording their conversations and they did not consent to it, the recording may be illegal under Florida law.

Barry administrators said Loomer not only breached Florida law, but also journalistic ethics.

(Editor's note: In a previous version of the attached video, Local 10 News reported that Project Veritas head James O'Keefe pleaded guilty in 2010 to federal charges stemming from an incident at a Democratic Louisiana senator's office. We want to make clear that, as federal documents show, O'Keefe pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of entering federal property by false pretenses, which is a misdemeanor.)   

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ISIS-affiliated attackers killed at least 129 people in Paris Friday in coordinated attacks at six locations throughout the city. The attacks set off police raids, arrests and other detentions in France, airstrikes in Syria against ISIS and condemnation around the world.

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About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."