Law-enforcement officer on terrorism charge
ALEXANDRIA, Va (AP):
Prosecutors yesterday brought the first-ever terrorism charges against a law-enforcement officer in the United States, alleging that a patrol officer with the DC region's Metro Transit Police was caught buying US$250 worth of gift cards for the Islamic State group.
Nicholas Young, 36, of Fairfax, was arrested yesterday morning at Metro's headquarters in Washington. He is charged with a single count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group, and was scheduled for an initial appearance yesterday afternoon at US District Court in Alexandria.
According to an FBI affidavit, Young bought nearly $250 in gift cards last month that he intended for the Islamic State to use to purchase mobile apps that would facilitate communication. But Young actually gave the gift cards to an undercover FBI source.
Documents show Young has been under surveillance since 2010, and that he travelled to Libya twice in 2011, where he said he joined rebel forces seeking to oust dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Joshua Stueve, spokesman for the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said Young posed no threat to the metro system. Court documents show Young directed his efforts at seeking to help the Islamic State overseas.
FBI spokesman Andrew Ames confirmed that Young is the first law-enforcement officer to be charged under the federal government's terrorism law.
Prosecutors said it was Metro Transit Police that initiated the investigation, and then worked cooperatively with the FBI.
"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 Wiedefeld said in a statement.
The documents show Young was an associate of two other persons who were charged with terror-related crimes.
The FBI says it has ongoing investigations in all 50 states.