VIRGINIA – A Virginia Metro Transit Police Department police officer was arrested today for attempting to provide material support to ISIL, officials said. ISIL, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a jihadist militant group. Nicholas Young, 36, of Fairfax, has been on the police force since 2003.
Young was interviewed in 2010 as part of an investigation on his acquaintance, Zachary Chesser. Chesser pleaded guilty to providing material to support terrorists. A second of Young’s acquaintances, Amine El Khalifi, also pleaded guilty to a 2012 attempted suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol Building. Young told FBI agents that he had twice traveled to Libya in an attempt to overthrow the Muammar Qaddafi regime. Through baggage searched they learned that he traveled with military-style items such as a kevlar helmet and body armor.
Young’s behavior became increasingly alarming when he met with FBI confidential human source (CHS). The meetings were numerous, approximately 20 in all where the agent posed as a Middle Eastern descent U.S. military reservist. The agent told Young he was eager to leave the military since he was against the fights of Muslims in Iraq. Young advised the CHS not to discuss plans with others who may be informants, he also told him how to evade law enforcement detection using specified travel methods, officials said.
Further contact was made by email with the CHS, who led Young to believe that he had joined ISIL. Young asked how he can send his money overseas, “[U]nfortunately 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.”
Authorities have been in contact with Young’s associates including friends, family, and co-workers and have learned of his interest in terrorist-related activities. On July 18, 2016, Young communicated again with CHS looking to purchase gift cards for mobile messaging account which are used for ISIL recruiting. On July 28, 2016, Young sent the gift card codes with a message saying, “Respond to verify receipt . . . may not answer depending on when as this device will be destroyed after all are sent to prevent the data being possibly seen on this end in the case of something unfortunate.”
Young is set to appear in court Wednesday afternoon and if convicted as charged with face up to 20 years in Federal prison. The investigation was initiated by the Metro Transit Police Department who is continuing the investigation with the FBI.
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