Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, August 3, 2016
A Metro Transit police officer has been arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, marking the first time a U.S. law enforcement officer has been accused of trying to aid the terrorist group.
Nicholas Young, 36, of Fairfax, Va., was arrested Wednesday morning at Metro Transit Police headquarters in Washington and his employment was terminated. Young sent codes for mobile messaging cards to an undercover federal agent in the belief that they would be used by Islamic State fighters overseas to communicate, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia .
Authorities, who had been surveilling Young for six years, said there was never any credible or specific threat to the Metro system. But the court papers detail vague threats over the years to kill FBI agents and informants or bring guns into federal court. Young allegeldy threatened to kidnap and torture an agent who interviewed him, and leave the head of anyone who betrayed him in a cinder block at the bottom of a Virginia lake.
Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik said in a statement that the investigation into Young began years ago when his office went to the FBI with concerns.
According to authorities, Young has been with Metro Transit Police since 2003 and has been monitored regularly by the FBI, working with transit police, since 2010.
Authorities say Young, a convert to Islam, was acquainted with two men who eventually were convicted in terrorism cases. Young knew Zachary Chesser, who in 2010 admitted trying to join a Somali terrorist group and made threats to the creators of TV’s “South Park,” and Amine El Khalifi, who was arrested in 2012 for plotting to bomb the Capitol, the court papers said.
Young appears to own a large number of firearms. A Metro police officer told authorities that during an off-duty weapons training event last March, Young brought an Egyptian AK-47, a Kimber 1911 .45 caliber pistol and an AK-47 AMD rifle. The training officer told the FBI that Young also owned a semiautomatic AK-47 RPK, an 8mm Mauser rifle and a World War II-era Russian Nagant rifle, according to the court papers.