- The Washington Times - Monday, December 18, 2017

A former Metro Transit Police officer was convicted Monday of attempting to provide support to the Islamic State, marking the first time a U.S. law enforcement officer has been found guilty of aiding the terrorist organization.

Law enforcement had 38-year-old Nicholas Young under surveillance for at least six years before charges were filed against him because of both “suspicious” activities that were flagged by Metro Transit officials as well as his close association with another man swept up in a terrorism investigation. But his conviction stems from his 2016 purchase of gift cards for mobile-messaging accounts that he gave to a man he believed was a U.S. military reservist who wanted to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State. In fact, the man was a confidential FBI informant.

Young was also convicted of obstruction of justice charges that stem from messages he sent to the confidential informant in an attempt to throw investigators off the case.

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Young believed the confidential informant had traveled to Turkey and then onto Syria to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. After he was interviewed by the FBI about the supposed travels of the informant, authorities said Young sent text messages to the man attempting to make it appear that the man had only traveled to Turkey for a vacation.

The material support charge stems from Young’s later purchase of $245 worth of gift cards for mobile-messaging accounts that he believed would help Islamic State recruiters to securely communicate with potential Islamic State recruits.

Young faces up to 60 years in prison as a result of the criminal conviction. Sentencing in the case is set for Feb. 23.

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