Thursday, August 4, 2016

FBI sting nets DC Metro police officer, shows how federal anti-terrorism law works; a sinister plot broken in North Carolina

Two big arrests in the news:

In northern Virginia, a Metro police officer was arrested in a sting when the FBI posed as an IS IS contact and apparently purchased phone cards allegedly intended for the group. The Washington Post, in a story by Rachel Weiner, identifies the person today as Nicholas Young, arrested at WMATA headquarters in downtown Washington DC.  (I’ve been in that building – when I went to fill out a police report after a 2013 minor robbery).   Young had worked as a Metro police officer for seven years.  Metro says that the subway system itself was never in danger from him.  He was fired immediately, and his townhome in northern Virginia is closed off for investigation.

It’s important to remember that any support at all for any foreign terrorist group (it could be Hamas or something else, not necessarily ISIS or Al Qaeda) violates federal law and can lead to arrest.  That could include something as innocuous as providing a gift card.  Such arrests are relatively rare in practice, and are usually set up by long-time stings.

.ABC News reports the arrest of Erick Jamal Hendricks, of Charlotte, NC, in a federal sting for trying to recruit other people to launch domestic attacks (for ISIS), especially against US military service-members.  The targets would be identified from a list developed by a previous hacker who is now awaiting sentencing in an Alexandria VA federal court.  The story of risks to service-members on social media was documented in the major media in 2014.

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