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US Officer Arrested for Daesh Ties Traveled to Libya to Overthrow Gaddafi

© AFP 2023 / MARWAN IBRAHIMSmoke rises in the distance behind an Islamic State (IS) group flag and banner
Smoke rises in the distance behind an Islamic State (IS) group flag and banner - Sputnik International
The Washington, DC transit police officer, arrested for trying to provide support to the Daesh terror group, told FBI agents that he traveled to Libya in 2011 and was with rebels fighting then-leader Muammar Gaddafi, the US Department of Justice said in a press release on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Nicholas Young, a 13-year veteran of the US Metro Transit police, was arrested on Wednesday morning by FBI agents for attempting to provide material support to Daesh.

"According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Young told FBI agents that he traveled to Libya twice in 2011 and he had been with rebels attempting to overthrow the Muammar Qaddafi regime," the release stated.

Libya has been in a state of turmoil since the Arab Spring protests in early 2011 led to a civil war and the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The instability has facilitated the emergence of numerous militant groups in the state, particularly Daesh, which is outlawed in many countries, including the United States and Russia. The militant group has seized a sizable territory around Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte.

The officer knew the man who pleaded guilty to plotting a suicide bombing at the US Capitol in 2012, the department said.

"Several meetings Young had with an undercover law enforcement officer in 2011 included another of Young's acquaintances, Amine El Khalifi, who later pleaded guilty to charges relating to attempting a suicide bombing at the US Capitol Building in 2012," the release stated.

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Khalifi was sentenced to 30 years in prison for conspiring with undercover agents to run the operation, going so far as to wear what he thought was a bomb-laden vest.

Young advised a confidential source who he believed to be an IS recruit how to evade law enforcement detection, the US Department of Justice said.

During a years-long investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Young met with a confidential human source (CHS) who was posing as a Daesh recruit, the Justice Department stated.

"During these conversations [in 2014] Young advised CHS on how to evade law enforcement detection by utilizing specific travel methods and advised CHS to watch out for informants and not discuss his plans with others,” the release noted.

A B-1B Lancer strategic bomber takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, in this U.S. Air Force file handout photo dated March 27, 2011 - Sputnik International
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On July 28, according to court documents, Young purchased and transmitted 22 digital gift card codes to an undercover FBI agent that he believed would be used for mobile messaging accounts Daesh operatives use in recruiting.

Furthermore, he told the undercover agent that he would destroy his own communication device to avoid detection.

Young had previously told the confidential human source that he believed his own travel and banking transactions were being monitored.

Young is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday in Virginia. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in a federal prison.

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