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WMATA officer charged with attempting to support ISIL


A Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) police officer has been arrested on charges for attempting to provide support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced yesterday.

The officer, Nicholas Young, sent 22 gift card codes to an undercover FBI officer posing as a U.S. military reservist who claimed to have left the country to join ISIL.

The codes were ultimately redeemed by the FBI for $245, DOJ officials said.

Law enforcement began monitoring Young in 2010 in connection with his acquaintance Zachary Chesser, who had been arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Over the next several years, Young had numerous interactions with both undercover law enforcement personnel and an FBI informant regarding his "knowledge of and interest in terrorism-related activity," according to the DOJ release.

WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld said that he and and Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik have worked "hand-in-glove" with the FBI to address the matter.

"Metro Transit Police alerted the FBI about this individual and then worked with our federal partners throughout the investigation up to and including [Wednesday's] arrest," Wiedefeld said in a statement. "Obviously, the allegations in this case are profoundly disturbing. They're disturbing to me, and they're disturbing to everyone who wears the uniform."

Young's case is the first in which a U.S. police officer has been charged with aiding ISIL, according to CNN, which also noted that there wasn't any evidence of a threat to WMATA's system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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