DEVELOPING: Nicholas Young, the first U.S. police officer to face terrorism charges, was found guilty on Monday. He faces up to 60 years in prison. https://t.co/gFd4fYLp2H @BBuchman_CNS pic.twitter.com/iJlNQMqMEK— Courthouse News (@CourthouseNews) December 18, 2017
A District of Columbia Metro police officer was convicted earlier this week for giving aid to the Islamic State group, becoming the first member of a law enforcement agency in the United States to be convicted of helping the designated foreign terrorist organization.
Nicholas Young of Fairfax, Virginia, was convicted in federal court on Monday of supplying pre-paid gift cards to an individual who he thought was a member of IS and of obstructing justice. But the man he was regularly giving cards to in 2014 turned out to be an undercover informant for the FBI.
Young, 37, had met with the FBI source, who was a friend of his, on 20 separate occasions that year, and had given him at least $250 in gift cards for the intended purposes of using them to help his terrorist activities. He also told the informant friend that he had begun stockpiling weapons in his Fairfax home. Young was arrested in 2016.
During the week-long trial that ended on Monday, the prosecution noted that Young, as a former police officer, betrayed the trust of the community he was meant to serve.
“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.
It seems that Young was driven to support IS because of his own anti-Semitism, prosecutors alleged. Young has a sordid history involving an obsession with Nazi artifacts. He regularly dressed up as an SS guard during World War II reenactments, and he has a tattoo of a German eagle on his neck.
In addition to supplying the undercover source with gift cards, Young also tried to obstruct the FBI as agents had told Young that they were looking into his friend. Once FBI officials suggested to him that his friend was being watched, Young sent a text message to his friend that made it appear that the undercover source was in Turkey on vacation, in order to throw off the FBI to his understanding that the source was trying to get to Syria to fight for IS.
Officials first became aware of Young when the Metro police force alerted them to suspicious behavior. Officials have kept a close eye on him since 2009.
Following conviction, Young now moves onto the sentencing phase of his trial. He faces up to 60 years in prison for the crimes he committed.