(VOA NEWS) – A Washington, D.C. transit policeman has been arrested on charges of attempting to provide support to the Islamic State (IS), the first time terrorism charges have been filed against a law enforcement officer in the U.S.
36 year old Nicholas Young, a 13-year veteran of the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD), has been accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of giving 22 gift card codes, worth nearly $250, to an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent. The FBI said Young believed his contact had mobile messaging accounts that IS used to recruit members.
Young made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. Other than requesting a court-appointed attorney, Young said little else during the hearing, which lasted less than five minutes. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The affidavit said Young traveled to Libya once in 2011 and tried to visit there a second time. It also said Young met about 20 times in 2014 with an undercover FBI agent who posed as a U.S. military reservist of Middle Eastern descent and expressed a desire to travel abroad to join IS.
Young had been monitored by the FBI since 2010. Law enforcement authorities first interviewed Young in connection with an acquaintance, Zachary Chesser, who later pleaded guilty to providing material support to the foreign terrorist group al-Shabaab.
Young also held meetings with an undercover law enforcement officer in 2011, sometimes with another associate, Amine El Khalifi, who pleaded guilty to charges of planning to carry out a suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol Building. READ MORE OF THIS REPORT