A former patrol officer with the D.C. region’s transit police is the first cop federally indicted on terrorism charges.
Let’s hope he is the last.
Nicholas Young, 37, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday, according to Fox News. He had worked for the police department for 13 years before he was fired in August.
FBI spokesman Andrew Ames confirmed that Young was the first law enforcement officer to be charged under the federal government’s terrorism law.
Prosecutors said Young bought $250 worth of gift cards for someone he thought was working with the Islamic State. He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and obstruction of justice read the report.
According to an FBI affidavit, the officer from Virginia bought the gift cards that he intended for ISIS to use to buy mobile messaging apps in July. Young actually gave the codes for the gift cards to an undercover FBI agent, the affidavit said.
Young had been under surveillance since 2010. The undercover investigation confirmed he traveled to Libya at least once in 2011, where he said he joined rebel forces seeking to oust dictator Muammar Qaddafi, the affidavit said. He traveled with body armor, a Kevlar helmet and other military-style items.
The affidavit indicated that Young was deeply paranoid about law enforcement spying on him, often taking out the battery of his cell phone when he wanted to go somewhere and talk.
On Jan. 24, 2011, an undercover officer said Young advised that he aimed an AK-47-style rifle out of a window at his home, scanning for law enforcement he believed was watching him. On another occasion, he grew angry that the FBI talked to his family and co-workers and said he wanted to find the FBI agent and kidnap and torture her.
However, the undercover officer said he “doubted that Young seriously intended to act upon those words,” according to the affidavit.
Joshua Stueve, spokesman for the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said Young posed no threat to the Metro system and nowhere in the affidavit does it mention the subway and bus system for the nation’s capital, according to the Fox report.
“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.
There were several alarming occurrences as Young was under surveillance according to the affidavit. For instance, during one conversation with an undercover officer, Young said if he were ever betrayed by someone, “that person’s head would be in a cinderblock at the bottom of” a lake, reported Fox News. He also praised the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks at the Bataclan music hall and elsewhere, as well as the earlier Charlie Hebdo attacks, the document said.
Young has an exposure of 60 years in prison if convicted.