Authorities say a Washington, D.C.-area transit police officer has been charged in an FBI sting with attempting to support the Islamic State group.
The FBI says he is the first law enforcement officer in the U.S. to be charged with a terror-related crime.
Court documents said 36-year-old Nicholas Young of Fairfax was arrested Wednesday morning. According to an affidavit, Young bought nearly $250 in gift cards 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, due to his connection with his acquaintance Zachary Chesser, who had been arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, according to an FBI press release.
Young had numerous interactions with an undercover law enforcement personnel and an FBI confidential source, and many of the interactions were recorded, the FBI said. The source posed as a U.S. military reservist who wanted to travel overseas and join ISIL, the FBI said.
During the 20 separate conversations, Young advised the source on how to evade law enforcement detection.
In 2011, Young met with an undercover law enforcement officer, and several of these meetings included another of Young’s acquaintances, Amine El Khalifi, who later pleaded guilty to charges relating to his plan to conduct a suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol Building in 2012.
The FBI also said he traveled to Libya in 2011, and attempted to travel there a second time, where he said he joined rebel forces seeking to oust dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Baggage searches revealed that Young traveled with body armor, a kevlar helmet and several other military-style items, the FBI press release also said.
Officials say Young did not pose any threat to the Metro system.
Young had worked for the Metro Transit Police Department since 2003, the FBI said.
Story by the Associated Press and CCTV America