Metro Transit Officer Charged with Attempting to Help ISIS
Prosecutors made history this week when they brought the first-ever federal terrorism charges against a 36-year-old law enforcement officer in the U.S.
Thirteen-year veteran Metro Transit Police officer, Nicolas Young of Fairfax, VA, allegedly bought $245 in gift cards for someone he thought was working with ISIS.
Young was arrested Wednesday at Metro Transit Police headquarters in Washington, DC, and charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group, according to the FBI affidavit.
Last month, Young bought the gift cards to help members of the Islamic State communicate with potential recruits, but in actuality, Young gave the gift card codes to an undercover FBI agent.
Young believed the FBI agent was a militant who had supposedly joined the Islamic State group after leaving the U.S. in late 2014. During an interview with the FBI, allegedly about the militant, Young told investigators that his friend had gone on vacation to Turkey, and he never heard from him again. Yet, court documents say that Young continued to communicate with the agent he believed was a militant through email and a mobile messaging app.
Young sent the codes at the prodding of the FBI agent posing as a militant, who suggested that ISIS could use the gift card codes.
According to court records, Young also provided advice on how to join ISIS to the militant, whom Young believed was a military reservist of Middle Eastern descent. Young instructed the man about what gear to take with him, how to avoid the suspicion of authorities and cautioned that it could take several weeks to cross the border between Turkey and Syria.
He also counseled that the man didn’t have to join the Islamic State group.
Young briefly appeared in U.S. District Court in Alexandria Wednesday afternoon dressed in a white T-shirt and his police uniform pants. During that time, he requested a court-appointed attorney and the judge ordered him held until the status hearing Thursday. If convicted, Young could face up to 20 years in prison.
FBI spokesman Andrew Ames confirmed that Young is the first law enforcement officer to be charged under the federal government’s terrorism law, The Associated Press reported.
Joshua Stueve, spokesman for the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, told The Associated press that Young posed no threat to the Metro system, and nowhere in the affidavit does it mention Metro or Metrobus system.
Young was terminated upon his arrest, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told WTOP.
Posted in The Takedown