A Washington transit police officer has been
charged with attempting to provide material
support to Islamic State, officials say.
Nicholas Young, 36, of Fairfax, Virginia, was
arrested on Wednesday at police headquarters.
He made a brief court appearance, wearing a T-
shirt and what appeared to be his uniform
Young is the first law enforcement officer in the US
to be charged with a terror-related offence.
According to an affidavit, he bought nearly $250
(£188) of gift cards he intended for IS to use to
buy mobile phone apps that would facilitate
But the accused instead gave the gift cards to an
undercover FBI source, it is alleged.
Young attempted to send the money over a
messaging service the terrorist group uses for
Officials have said he did not pose any threat to
the Metro system in Washington DC.
If convicted, Young could face up to 20 years in
Prosecutors said the Metro Transit Police initiated
the investigation, and then worked with the FBI.
“Obviously, the allegations in this case are
profoundly disturbing,” Metro General Manager
Paul Wiedefeld said in a statement.
They’re disturbing to me, and they’re disturbing to
everyone who wears the uniform.”
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said Young – who
started working with the transport police
department in 2003 – was fired as a result.
He has been on the radar of US law enforcement
since 2010, according to an affidavit.
The documents indicate he travelled twice to Libya
in 2011, where he said he joined rebel forces
seeking to oust dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The affidavit said Young was paranoid about law
enforcement surveillance, often removing the
battery from his mobile phone when he wanted to
go somewhere and talk.
He frequently told one undercover source to be on
guard for possible informers, according to the
On another occasion, he was upset that the FBI
had approached his family and colleagues.
Dina Ahmad, a neighbor of Young’s in Fairfax, said
the suspect often worked late on his car, which
was adorned with anti-Israel bumper stickers.
“We knew something was weird about him,” Ms
“You just kind of got that creepy vibe off of him.”