A police officer in Washington DC has been accused of seeking to help the Islamic State terrorist organization. The Washington DC Metro Transit officer has been identified as Nicholas Young, 36, of suburban Fairfax, Virginia. He has been charged
with “attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State.” He was arrested today.
According to authorities, there is no known or “pending threat to the DC transportation system.” The Washington Area Metro Transit Authority is expected to release a statement today. Young has worked for the transit system for about 12 years.
Officer Young is alleged to have purchased “technology-related items” to enable ISIS to evade detection while communicating. Young was apprehended as part of a sting operation. While he believed he was communicating with members of ISIS, it was really FBI agents who were in touch with him as part of an undercover operation.
Documents filed with a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, contend that Young bought approximately $250 in gift cards intended for ISIS to buy mobile apps that would facilitate communication. Young gave the cards to an undercover FBI operative. He had been under watch since 2010 after having travelled to conflictive Libya twice in 2011. He said that he fought alongside forces arrayed against former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Young has become the latest of more than 100 Americans who have been accused of assisting the Islamic State terrorists in recent years. Concerns over domestic Muslim terrorism have grown significantly after the fatal Muslim terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando. In both cases, the assailants were American citizens or legal resident aliens who are believed to have been radicalized by ISIS. According to the FBI, he is the first law enforcement officer ever to be charged with terror-related crimes.
According to WBT, the transit officer was arrested on the morning of Aug. 3. He has since been fired. “Obviously, the allegations in this case are profoundly disturbing. They’re disturbing to me, and they’re disturbing to everyone who wears the uniform,” Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement.
Young is also alleged to have given a person cooperating with law enforcement advice on travel to Syria. Young, having believed that person had actually travelled overseas, is alleged to have agreed with a request to purchase gift cards for mobile messaging accounts used in Islamic State recruiting. He also admitted to have had several "burner" cellphones in his possession.
According to the federal indictment, Young told FBI agents that as a child he had once tortured innocent animals as a youngster. He also claimed to have dressed himself up as "Jihadi John" - a.k.a. Muhammad Jassim Abdulkarim Olayan al-Dhafiri, a British Muslim terrorist who died in a drone strike in 2015 -- and as a Nazi. A collector of Nazi memorabilia, Young also sported a tattoo of a German eagle on his neck, according to the indictment. He also owned a large number of firearms, according to the feds. According to a Metro police officer's testimony, Young once brought to an off-duty weapons training event: a Kimber 1911 .45 caliber pistol, an AK-47 AMD rifle, and an Egyptian AK-47. The officer also claimed that Young owned an 8mm Mauser rifle, a World War II-era Russian Nagant rifle, and a semi-automatic AK-47 RPK.
Law enforcement also claims that Young was familiar with Zachary Chesser, who tried to join a Somali terrorist group, and Amine El Khalifi. The latter was arrested in 2011 for a plot to detonate a bomb in the Capitol Building.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) was created in 1967 to “plan, develop, build, finance, and operate a balanced regional transportation system in the national capital area,” its website says.
The Washington DC Metro system operates: Metrorail and its 117 miles of track and 91 stations; Metrobus and its 1500 buses; and the MetroAccess service for the elderly and handicapped.
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