A Washington, D.C., Metro Transit police officer who was a convert to Islam and once dressed up as Jihadi John for Halloween was charged on Wednesday with trying to provide material support to ISIS -- the first time a law enforcement officer has been charged with an ISIS-related crime.
Virginia resident Nicholas Young, 36, who has served with the department since 2003, was arrested Wednesday morning by FBI agents.
The lanky, slim-built 36 year old was dressed in a prison issue white t-shirt and dark pants and sported long hair as he made his initial appearance in court Wednesday afternoon. No attorney was present.
Young spoke only to request a public defender be appointed to represent him.
Young will be held in Alexandria until his detention hearing, which is set for Friday at 2 p.m. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.
Authorities allege in a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday that Young attempted to send money to ISIS through a mobile-based gift card using an unnamed messaging service the terror group utilizes for recruiting purposes. The transaction, which was redeemed by the FBI for $245, was made in July 2016.
Despite Wednesday’s arrest, the Department of Justice said there was never any threat to the public or a plot by Young to target the public transit system he was hired to protect.
Young had been under FBI investigation since 2010, when the Metro Transit Police Department alerted the feds to suspicions about Young. During the investigation, the FBI kept extremely close tabs on Young through the use of undercover agents and confidential informants, a source told Fox News.
Investigators also interviewed Young several times during the course of the investigation.
Court documents paint the story of an individual with ties to suspicious individuals and with terrorist aspirations abroad.
The criminal complaint connects Young to two convicted Washington, DC-area terrorist sympathizers, Zachary Chesser and Amine El Khalifi.
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