This is a developing story. More details to come.
In the first case of a U.S. police officer charged with aiding ISIS, a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority cop was arrested Wednesday for providing material support to ISIS, according to two law enforcement officials.
Nicholas Young was arrested by the FBI following more than a year of investigation.
According to the officials, there was no evidence of any threat to the D.C. Metro system. Young will make his first appearance in court later Wednesday.
He would be the first police officer in the United States arrested and charged with supporting ISIS.
A Washington, D.C.-area transit police officer has been charged in an FBI sting with attempting to support the Islamic State group, authorities said.
Nicholas Young, 36, of Fairfax, Virginia, was arrested at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters on Wednesday morning, court documents say.
Young, a 12-year veteran of the transit police force, was charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
The FBI says he is the first law enforcement officer in the United States to be charged with a terror-related crime.
According to an affidavit, Young bought nearly $250 in gift cards he intended for the Islamic State’s fighters to use to purchase mobile apps that would facilitate communication.
Young believed the informant he was messaging was an acquaintance who was working with the militant group, but he actually gave the gift cards to an undercover FBI source.
Documents show Young has been under surveillance since 2010, and that he traveled to Libya twice in 2011, where he said he joined rebel forces seeking to oust dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Baggage searches revealed that Young traveled with body armor, a kevlar helmet, and several other military-style items.
But officials say Young did not pose any threat to the Metro system in the US capital.
He has been with the Metro Transit Police Department since 2003, the affidavit says. The document suggests that Young had converted to Islam.
In a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, police first interviewed in connection with his acquaintance, Zachary Chesser in 2010.
A month later, Chesser pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists.
Over the next several years, Young had a number of interactions with undercover officers and a co-operating witness regarding his knowledge or interest of terrorist-related activity, the statement said. Many of those conversations were recorded.
Law enforcement also interviewed Young’s family and co-workers.
In one conversation with an undercover officer in March 2011, Young said that he hated the FBI and was skilled enough to attack the agency.
According to the affidavit, he said that although firearms are not permitted in Alexandria’s federal courthouse – but described a way to bring multiple guns inside undetected in order to distribute to others.
The US Attorney’s Office says that Young met an FBI source on 20 separate occasions in 2014.
The source posed as a U.S. military reservist of Middle Eastern descent who was becoming more religious and eager to leave the U.S. military as a result of having had to fight against Muslims during his deployment to Iraq, according to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint.
During these conversations, Young advised the source on how to evade detection by law enforcement by using specific travel methods and advised the man to watch out for informants and not discuss his plans with others.
In the fall of 2014, the source led Young to believe that he had successfully left the United States and had joined ISIS – but in reality, he had no further contact with the source.
All further communications between Young and the source’s email account were actually between Young and FBI undercover personnel posing as him.
In January last year, Young ‘proudly’ referenced the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in an email, the affidavit says.
‘Not sure if you got the news there yet,’ he said in a message days after the massacre in Paris.