A former Washington D.C. police officer was found guilty Monday of trying to help the ISIS, making him the first member of law enforcement in the U.S. to be convicted on terrorism-related charges.
The 38-year-old man, Nicholas Young, was arrested in August after an undercover informant for the FBI befriended him and posed as a radical who sought advice and, later, money for recruiting new militants, according to the Washington Post. Young voiced support of ISIS to the informant, lied to the FBI when they told Young they were investigating the informant’s attempt to join ISIS, and sent the informant more than $200 in gift cards to help pay for encrypted messages used to recruit new members, according to NBC News.
Young, who was a transit police officer for the D.C. Metro system and is originally from Alexandria, Virginia, had been on the FBI’s radar for years, having once joined the civil war in Libya in 2011 on vacation and watched ISIS videos on break at work, according to the Post.
The Post reported that he was likely another first: a conservative who was convicted of helping ISIS. He was a fan of Ron Paul, the libertarian former congressman, and once “express[ed] interest” in the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
His anti-Semitic beliefs, prosecutors argued, linked his obsession with both Islamic extremism and Nazism, bringing together two otherwise completely incompatible forms of extremism. According to the Post:
Young dressed up as an SS officer in World War II reenactments and had a tattoo on his arm celebrating his unit. He also collected literature advocating violent jihad and watched Islamic State videos.
A former roommate testified that Young, during a school project that took them to a meeting of white supremacists, told him, “‘Don’t discount the Muslims’ ability to fight against the Jews.’ ” On Young’s computer was evidence that he had researched historical links between Nazis and Muslims. A law enforcement officer who met him while working undercover said Young and his friends often insulted Jewish people.
Young faces up to 60 years in prison.
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