Nicholas Young, 36, is the first U.S. law enforcement officer to face charges for supporting the terrorist organization ISIS. Young had been attempting to provide the group with both resources and materials.
Young’s own trouble with law enforcement started back in September of 2010 when he was interviewed regarding his connection with Zachary Chesser, who pleaded guilty for attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
Young reportedly said he was shocked by the charges. Following this, Young had a number of interactions with a confidential human source from the FBI as well as undercover law enforcement officers. A great deal of these interactions were recorded.
That same year, Young was interviewed by the FBI. According to a copy of the complaint and affidavit, Young had made his way to Libya twice in 2011, telling agents he was with rebels trying to overthrow the Qaddafi regime. When Customs and Border Protection went through his baggage, they discovered a kevlar helmet, body armor and other “military-style” objects.
In 2012, Young had a meeting with an undercover officer along with Amine El Khalifi, who would later admit to planning to commit suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol Building.
On the day of Khalifi’s arrest, another individual was taken for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. This individual had been discussing with Khalifi and an undercover officer about the fundamentals of marksmanship. After Khalifi was taken into custody, Young told an undercover officer that Muslims should try to “uncover” the informants that helped secure Khalifi’s arrest.
In 2014, it was found that Young was posing as a U.S. military reservist of Middle Eastern descent eager to leave the U.S. military as he no longer wants to fight against Muslims during his deployment to Iraq. A confidential source told Young about wanting to join ISIS. Young, in turn, encouraged and supported it, even giving him recommendations on what to pack during his trip to join the organization.
Young also set up an email account he and the confidential source can use to communicate once the source is already with ISIS.
Throughout this, Young continued with his work as a law enforcement officer for the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD). He had been in the MTPD since 2003. In one Halloween party, Young dressed up as “Jihadi John.” In the past, Young said he also dressed up as a Nazi. He also surprised his fellow officers when he showed to an off-duty hours weapons training event with a large number of firearms and ammunition. Young’s own guns included powerful assault rifles as well as a pistol.
Earlier this year, Young was found to have been helping with ISIS recruit efforts through the use of gift card codes the organization uses for its mobile messaging accounts. According to ABC News, Young was arrested while he was at the transit police headquarters in Washington.
It seems that at an early age, Young had a troubled personality. He once admitted to an undercover officer that he tortured animals as a child. Young also preferred to deal with violence. He once said that if anyone betrayed him, “that person’s head would be in a cinder block at the bottom of Lake Braddock.”
Young also spoke about pouring gasoline at FBI surveillance cars and lighting them up. In another conversation, he talked about finding out where an FBI special agent lived before “kidnapping and torturing her.”
If convicted, Young looks to face the statutory maximum sentence of 20 years.