While it may not lead to the uncovering of any major, wide reaching terror plot, this is some of the worst news to come out on the domestic terror front in some time. For the first time in the United States, a law enforcement officer has been arrested for attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Don’t underestimate the importance of this story folks… this is bad news. (CNN)
A police officer with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority was arrested Wednesday and charged with providing material support to ISIS, according to two law enforcement officials.
Nicholas Young was arrested by the FBI following more than a year of investigation. According to the officials, there was no evidence of any threat to the D.C. Metro system. Young will make his first appearance in court later Wednesday.
The FBI has been on the trail of this guy for more than a year and it’s not a case of someone traveling overseas to fight with the enemy. Instead, he was trying to assist them on the home front. ABC News has more of the early details.
Authorities believe that while working for the Metro Transit Police Department around Washington, D.C. – a community he swore to protect – officer Nicholas Young was also trying to assist ISIS operatives find more ways to communicate in secret, sources told ABC News.
Young allegedly purchased technology-related items to send to the ISIS operatives so they could evade authorities when contacting each other, according to the sources.
The “technology related items” Young is accused of purchasing were gift cards for cell phone communications and data transfer, popular with terrorists and domestic criminal groups. If there’s any “good news” in this story it’s that Young may never have managed to provide much in the way of material support to our enemies. For most of this period he was actually dealing with undercover FBI agents rather than actual ISIS actors. From the sound of it, they could have taken Officer Young in quite a while ago, but I imagine they’ve been pulling on every thread they could find associated with him to see who else he might lead them to. If this is the only arrest to come of it, he may have been a lone actor who wasn’t working with a cell. But as usual, we’re only in the first hours of the revelation of this investigation. There will no doubt be plenty of folks digging into Officer Young’s background and associations. For all we know, this is the tip of the iceberg and he could be hip deep into Islamic terror operations. But it’s worth at least hoping that he didn’t have a wide network of support and the threat was minimal before being neutralized.
Still, this is an extremely disturbing sign. Whenever incidents of police behaving badly come up we are forced to acknowledge the fact that police officers are human beings too, and you’re going to run across the occasional bad apple. But rather than internal corruption or abuse of power, this is a cop who allegedly decided to actually work with the nation’s mortal enemies. Assuming the charges are proven in court, they need to throw the book at Young in a serious way for letting down the honor of the force and shaking the nation’s confidence in our first line of defense.