Former D.C. police officer found guilty of supporting Islamic State

By Ray Downs  |  Dec. 19, 2017 at 1:25 AM
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Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A federal jury found a former Washington, D.C. police officer guilty of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, the Department of Justice announced Monday.

Nicholas Young, 38, of Fairfax, Va. attempted to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State when he gave $245 worth of Google Play gift cards to a friend who said he was traveling to Syria to join the terrorist group. But that friend turned out to be a "confidential human source," or undercover informant, for the FBI.

The jury also found Young guilty of obstruction of justice when he attempted to mislead FBI agents about the whereabouts of the CHS.

"During an FBI interview, Young was told the FBI was investigating the attempt of his associate (the CHS) to join Islamic State," the Department of Justice said in a statement. "Nevertheless, in an attempt to thwart the prosecution of the CHS and himself, Young attempted to deceive investigators as to the destination and purpose of the CHS's travel."

Young told FBI agents the CHS went to Turkey on vacation, despite him believing the CHS went to Turkey in order to get to Syria and join the Islamic State.

In a January interview with The New York Times in January, Young said he was a victim of entrapment under the FBI's widescale efforts to find potential terrorists and ensnare them using undercover informants and other tactics.

Young, a white convert to Islam who worked as a transit cop for Washington D.C.'s Metro Transit Police, said FBI agents asked him to be an undercover informant for them on numerous occasions going back to 2011, but he rejected their offers.

In 2014, the FBI sent the undercover informant named "Mo" to Young's mosque to befriend him. Mo told Young about his plans to join the Islamic State and Young told him that he didn't have to do it.

"There is no one with a gun to your head that is counting down," Young told Mo in a conversation recorded in October 2014.

But Young gave Mo the Google Play gift cards to communicate while traveling to join the Islamic State and then misled FBI about Mo's whereabouts, giving the FBI enough evidence to bring a case against him.

The FBI had been watching Young for years and had informants on him since at least 2010, when they interviewed him about a fellow mosque-goer named Zachary Chesser, according to a criminal complaint. Chesser had been arrested at that time for threatening the creators of South Park for drawing Muhammad.

During that time, the FBI found that Young traveled to Libya twice to aid rebels fighting to bring down Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and also had an interest in Nazi paraphernalia.

Young faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced.

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