A Metro Transit police officer in Washington, DC area has been arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support to Islamic State. He also previously traveled to Libya in an attempt to help overthrow the Gaddafi government.
The officer, Nicholas Young, was trying to help Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) operatives find ways to communicate in secret, the Department of Justice said in a statement. The officer was sending “stored value” gift cards for mobile messaging accounts to IS abroad.
According to an indictment filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, Young was convinced by an undercover FBI officer to send him codes for 22 mobile messaging cards.
Young, 36 and a 12-year veteran of transit police force, was arrested Wednesday morning in Metropolitan Police Headquarters.
The Metro Transit Police Department is the law enforcement agency tasked with protecting the DC area’s subway system. Young never posed a credible or specific threat to the Metro system, authorities said, according to the Washington Post.
Young has worked for the Metro police since 2003. The FBI began monitoring him in September 2010, after interviewing him about an acquaintance of his, Zachary Chesser, who had been arrested and later pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 3, 2016
Another of Young’s acquaintances, Amine El Khalifi, pleaded guilty to charges related to a plan to conduct a suicide bombing at the US Capitol in 2012.
Young traveled to Libya once and attempted to travel there a second time to help rebels attempting to overthrow the government of Muammar Gaddafi, according to the FBI affidavit. He traveled with body armor, a kevlar helmet and several other military-style items, baggage searches revealed.