Alexandria, VA – A former DC Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) officer was convicted of trying to help the Islamic State on Monday. Nicholas Young was the first U.S. law enforcement officer ever to be charged with terrorism.
“Nicholas Young swore an oath to protect and defend, and instead violated the public’s trust by attempting to support ISIS,” U.S. Attorney Dana Boente said in a statement
Young, 36, was arrested in August of 2016, on charges of attempted material support for terrorism, and obstruction of justice. He has said he was entrapped by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
But authorities said the investigation into Young began much earlier, while he was serving as a police officer in the nation’s capital.
Fellow police officers described Young as strange, with an avid interest in history, and a passive approach to his job.
Many of his fellow police officers were uncomfortable with his social media rants about the government and openness about being a Nazi reenactor. He also began to grow a long beard.
MTPD officials took their concerns to the FBI in 2008, but the agency did not begin investigating Young for another two years.
In 2011, Young openly used his paid leave from MTPD to help topple the Libyan government, twice, to join rebel groups in helping to overthrow the Libyan government under Gadhafi, according to WTTG.
Young was first contacted by the FBI in 2010 when an acquaintance, Zachary Chesser, was under investigation and ultimately convicted of trying to join an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group and threatening the creators of the popular television series “South Park.”
After that initial contact, Young remained on the FBI's radar after he told an undercover officer that anyone who betrayed him would end up at the bottom of a lake, and bragged about his stockpile of weapons, police said.
A couple years later, the FBI had a breakthrough in their investigation that led to their arrest of the police officer.
Young met and became friendly with a 20-year-old man who was actually an FBI informant in 2014.
He sent gift cards and codes on behalf of Mohammad, who told him it was the only way to reach his family, whom reportedly he believed were with ISIS.
The affidavit said Young was actually communicating with an undercover officer who thanked him for the codes by saying "May Allah reward you for efforts."
Young replied "glad it came through...getting rid of device now...for real. Gonna eat the sim card. Have a good day."
When they arrested Young, agents who searched his truck found a Kel-Tec .380 firearm, six hollow point bullets, $1,065 in cash, and a burner phone with clear tape over the camera aperture. Eighteen rifles and pistols were seized from his home.
Authorities said recorded conversations showed Young's violent tendencies. He’d argued that terrorist attacks were "understandable reactions to Western aggression."
The FBI planned to use Young's support for the Nazis as evidence to show that he was predisposed to support terrorism before he was first contacted by their agents.
Young has denied the allegations, although he has a large tattoo on his left bicep of a SS unit's logo.
His family has stood by him, and said that he is not extremist or racist, just unusual.