ISIS-Supporting DC Metro Transit Officer Nicholas Young Tricked Into Thinking He Was Helping Terrorists

An officer with DC Metro Transit has been arrested on terror-related charges for attempting to support ISIS. Officer Nicholas Young has become the first U.S. officer to be charged with trying to support a terrorist group. The 36-year-old officer is facing terror-related charges for purchasing $245 worth of mobile-based gift cards to send to ISIS operatives. The cards were to be used to buy mobile apps so that ISIS operatives could communicate more covertly, according to the D.C. Patch.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a statement regarding Officer Young’s actions.

“Young met on about 20 separate occasions with an FBI confidential human source (CHS) posing as a U.S. military reservist of Middle Eastern descent who was becoming more religious and eager to leave the U.S. military as a result of having had to fight against Muslims during his deployment to Iraq.”

Nicholas Young was fired after his arrest and was charged this morning with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. His first court appearance is set for 2 p.m. in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan. A successful conviction could mean a 20-year sentence for Young, who has been employed with the Metro Transit Police Department since 2003 and has been on the Joint Terrorism Task Force’s radar for four years.

Metro General Manger Paul Wiedefeld said that it was Metro Transit Police that alerted the FBI about Officer Young’s activities. Along with Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik, they worked “hand-in-glove” to ensure Young would be brought to justice.

“Obviously, the allegations in this case are profoundly disturbing. They’re disturbing to me, and they’re disturbing to everyone who wears the uniform.”

Police Chief Pavlik added that the situation “reinforces that, as citizens, we all have a duty to report suspicious activity whenever and wherever it occurs.”

Nicholas Young was interviewed in September 2010 in connection with an acquaintance, Zachary Chesser, who pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists one month later. Young was interviewed again in 2011 for his affiliation with Amine El Khalifi, who pleaded guilty to charges related to an unsuccessful suicide bombing attempt at the U.S. Capitol in 2012.

Nicholas Young has had numerous interactions with undercover law enforcement and cooperating witnesses put in place to determine Young’s interest and/or knowledge of terror-related activities. Young believed the CHS contacts were also in support of ISIS, but they were, in fact, part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington, who recorded their interactions with him. According to the Department of Justice report, Young has never actually been in contact with ISIS.

In thinking that he was meeting with real ISIS supporters Nicholas Young revealed that he had traveled to Lybia in 2011 to meet with rebels trying to oust Muammar Qaddafi. The DOJ also reported that baggage searches revealed Young traveled with several military-style items, including body armor and a kevlar helmet.

Nicholas Young had so many interactions with law enforcement over his affiliations with people suspected of ISIS involvement that he knew he was being monitored, according to the DOJ report.

“Unfortunately, I have enough flags on my name that I can’t even buy a plane ticket without little alerts ending up in someone’s hands, so I imagine banking transactions are automatically monitored and will flag depending on what is going on.”

According to Heavy.com, Young has dressed as a Nazi and “Jihad John” for Halloween, collects Nazi memorabilia, has a tattoo of a German eagle on his neck, and praised the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in France.

[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]