Widely Reported D.C. Metro Police “Terrorism” Arrest Involved Gift Cards, Not Violence

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Widely Reported D.C. Metro Police “Terrorism” Arrest Involved Gift Cards, Not Violence

The charges in this case stem entirely from a gift card transaction that amounted to $245.(Photo: Pablo Martinez/AP)

The FBI “terrorism” arrest of a Washington, D.C., Metro police officer making headlines all over the world on Wednesday actually involved a man who sent $245 worth of gift cards to an FBI informant he thought was his friend.

Nicholas Young, a 36-year-old Virginia man, had previously tried to dissuade the informant from joining ISIS, even as the informant spent years cultivating him and waiting for him to do something illegal.

Young was accused of attempting to provide material support to the militant group the Islamic State. News reports highlighted his job prominently and announced that he had been accused of “helping ISIS” — making it sound like he was about to blow up the subway.

But Young is not alleged to have planned any act of violence. Instead, he is accused of sending $245 worth of gift cards to a government informant who had pretended to be living in Islamic State territory. The informant had been posing as a friend of Young’s for several years. He was only one of several informants who had been in touch with Young since 2010 and had seemingly tried to coax him into committing an illegal act.

In a Department of Justice press release announcing Young’s arrest on Wednesday, it was noted that since 2014, ” Young met on about 20 separate occasions with an FBI confidential human source.” This source was an informant posing as a U.S. military reservist of Middle Eastern background. The informant told Young he had become disillusioned with the Army and wanted to travel abroad and live in the territories of the Islamic State. According to the terms of the criminal complaint, the informant told Young it was “becoming an obligation for us” to travel and join ISIS.

Read the full article at The Intercept.

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