Former D.C. area police officer found guilty of trying to back Islamic State

By Rachel Weiner

December 18, 2017
The Washington Post

A former police officer for the D.C. Metro system was found guilty Monday of trying to help the Islamic State, making him the first law enforcement officer nationwide to be convicted in a terrorism case.

Nicholas Young, a 38-year-old Muslim convert from Alexandria, Va., faces up to 60 years in prison. After only a few hours of deliberation, a jury in federal court in Alexandria found he obstructed justice and offered financial support to a friend he thought had joined the terrorist organization.

In fact, the man was an undercover informant who befriended Young as part of an FBI sting operation.

“Nicholas Young swore an oath to protect and defend, and instead violated the public’s trust by attempting to support ISIS,” U.S. Attorney Dana Boente said in a statement.

Young was under scrutiny by the FBI for six of the 13 years he patrolled the public transportation system of the nation’s capital. He used his vacation time to join the civil war in Libya in 2011, leaving the FBI wondering whether he fought with a terrorist group, and watched Islamic State videos while on break. He was commended by one U.S. attorney’s office for his work as a police officer, only to be put under grand jury investigation by another.

He is probably the first person convicted of backing the Islamic State to consider himself a conservative, venerate former congressman Ron Paul, and express interest in joining the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

But the paradox at the heart of the trial was Young’s interest in both Islamic radicalism and Nazism. 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.

Prosecutors posited that virulent anti-Semitism connected the two seemingly incompatible forms of extremism. 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 did not testify, but his attorneys argued Nazism was emphasized to obscure the coercive nature of the investigation.

In interviews this year, Young and his sister said that prosecutors had twisted comments made in jest and isolated the most incendiary artifacts from a huge historical collection.

Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Young attended George Mason University, where he participated in ROTC and the Muslim Student Association. He left college without a degree and worked in security before becoming a Metro Transit police officer in 2003.

Although he was critical of American power in the Middle East, Young insisted he never celebrated civilian deaths or encouraged an informant he knew as Mohammed, or “Mo,” to join the Islamic State.

“Follow your conscience,” he told him, according to defense attorneys. “You can change your mind.”

But in online conversations with the informant shown in court, Young did seem to at least excuse terrorist attacks as justifiable responses to what he said were Western provocations.

“All they have to do is be ‘nice,’ like not killing us,” he wrote after a terrorist attack in Paris. “You can’t complain about that knuckle sandwich you were asking for,” he wrote after another.

And when Mo said he was determined to go to Syria, Young gave him advice and then lied to the FBI. He asked about people he had met in Libya and suggested the Islamic State was Syria’s best option.

“The West and its puppet coalition are almost competing with Russia to see who can pummel that country the most,” he wrote. “Everyone needs to join under one banner to repel them.”

Finally, when Mo last summer said Islamic State fighters needed Google Play gift cards so they could correspond with recruits on encrypted messaging applications, Young sent $245 worth.

Young first raised the suspicions of his colleagues in law enforcement in 2010, at a dinner party where a friend of his from college was being trailed by an undercover officer, according to testimony.

The officer, using the pseudonym Khalil Sullivan, testified that he was eventually told to stop talking to Young and focus on another target. A couple of years later, Mo met Young while informing on a man named Peshwaz Waise, who was later arrested in Texas for making terrorist threats.

In between, Young went to Libya and fought dictator Moammar Gaddafi. When he returned he was interviewed by FBI agents, one of whom repeatedly encouraged him to become an informant himself.

However, at trial Special Agent Nick Caslen said that approach was a “ruse” designed to keep Young in the FBI’s sights.

Young was aware that he probably was being watched. When he and Mo talked in person, he took the battery out of his phone. He later corresponded with Mo through an email account he accessed at a FedEx store, and he sent the gift card codes through a new phone and new account. He owned a large array of weapons and a scanner to check his home for recording devices.

“I don’t trust anyone; I’m suspicious of everyone,” he said in one recorded conversation. Later, he added, “In some office, I know our pictures are up on some wall.”

An attorney for Young declined to comment after the verdict. He is set to be sentenced on Feb. 23.

Secret report brands Muslim police corrupt

Fury over internal Met study which says Asians need special training
Sandra Laville and Hugh Muir
Saturday June 10, 2006
The Guardian

A secret high-level Metropolitan police report has concluded that Muslim officers are more likely to become corrupt than white officers because of their cultural and family backgrounds.

The document, which has been seen by the Guardian, has caused outrage among ethnic minorities within the force, who have labelled it racist and proof that there is a gulf in understanding between the police force and the wider Muslim community. The document was written as an attempt to investigate why complaints of misconduct and corruption against Asian officers are 10 times higher than against their white colleagues.

The main conclusions of the study, commissioned by the Directorate of Professional Standards and written by an Asian detective chief inspector, stated: "Asian officers and in particular Pakistani Muslim officers are under greater pressure from the family, the extended family ... and their community against that of their white colleagues to engage in activity that might lead to misconduct or criminality."

It recommended that Asian officers needed special anti-corruption training and is now being considered by a working party of senior staff.

The report argued that British Pakistanis live in a cash culture in which "assisting your extended family is considered a duty" and in an environment in which large amounts of money are loaned between relatives and friends.

The leaking of the report comes at a time when the Met needs the cooperation and trust of the Muslim community more than ever and as the force tries to contain the fallout from last week's anti-terrorist raid in Forest Gate in which a man was shot. The first version was considered so inflammatory when it was shown to representatives from the staff associations for black, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim officers, that it had to be toned down. There are 31,000 officers in the Met - 7%, or 2,170, are black and minority ethnic; among these an estimated 300 are Muslim.

One Muslim officer with the Met said: "It is like saying black officers are more likely to be muggers. Today it is Muslim officers who are treated as the Uncle Toms. How can they say to the Muslim community 'trust us', when they don't even trust their own Muslim officers."

Ahmanrahman Jafar, vice-chairman of the legal affairs committee of the Muslim Council of Britain, said it was shortsighted of the Met to be alienating its Muslim officers at such a sensitive time.

"We've got about 1,000 wrongful anti-terrorist arrests since 9/11 and I believe that if Muslim officers were involved in looking through that intelligence and understanding the context, we would have far greater efficiency in the police force and a far greater prosecution rate," he said. To support its conclusions, the report gives examples of cases in which Pakistani Muslim officers have been accused of corruption and misconduct. According to its critics, the report gives insufficient weight to the motivation of those who made the complaints or issues of institutional racism.

Superintendent Dal Babu, chairman of the Association of Muslim Officers, said the report had racist undertones. "We are gravely concerned about its contents and the message it sends to recruits and potential recruits," he said.

George Rhoden, chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association added. "We have made it clear that we disagreed totally with the conclusions ... the whole thing needs to be researched in a much more comprehensive way."


Basha related to banned Muslim cleric

George Conger, Jerusalem Post Correspondent, THE JERUSALEM POST

Oct. 9, 2006

The Muslim policeman who refused to guard Israel's embassy in London has links to a banned Islamic cleric, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.

Police Constable Alexander Omar Basha is related by marriage to Omar Makri Muhammad, leader of the now dissolved UK-based Islamic militant group, Al-Muhajiroun, the Telegraph stated on October 6.

The revelations of Basha's links to Bakri came the day after the Association of Muslim Police (AMP) defended his request not to be posted to guard duty at the Israeli embassy on the grounds that Muslim officers were under threat from Al-Muhajiroun and other British Islamist groups.

The conflicting explanations put forward justifying the Metropolitan Police's handling of the Basha affair have prompted concerns among community and political leaders that the police forces were being undermined by "politically correct" attitudes towards Muslim sensibilities, and that security was being ignored in pursuit of "diversity."

Last week the London tabloid, The Sun reported that Basha, a member of the Metropolitan Police's Diplomatic Protection Group, was reassigned after he refused to guard Israel's embassy in Kensington, West London on "moral grounds."

Senior police sources told The Sun that Muslim officer objected to the Israeli bombing campaign against Hizbullah. Basha, whose family immigrated to the UK from Syria and Lebanon, also told his superiors he had participated in London anti-war protests during the 34-day war in south Lebanon.

Speaking on behalf of Basha, the AMP spokesman Superintendent Dal Babu offered a second explanation, saying the officer was in fear of his life. "There was heightened tension and al-Muhajiroun and al-Ghurabaa have targeted Muslim officers in the past and he didn't want to be in that position."

"This is an issue around the welfare of a particular officer" and not a political or religious protest, Dal Babu said.

After Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair promised an "urgent review" of the incident, Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson released a statement Thursday exonerating Basha and his superiors.

The police encouraged its officers to "be up front and honest to highlight any matters that may impact on them conducting their duties," Stephenson said.

"At the height of the Israeli/Lebanon conflict in August this year [Basha] made his managers aware of his personal concerns which included that he had Lebanese family members."

Whilst the Israeli Embassy is not his normal posting, in view of the possibility that he could be deployed there, a risk assessment was undertaken, which is normal practice. It was as a result of this risk assessment - and not because of the officer's personal views whatever they might have been - that the decision was taken temporarily not to deploy him to the Embassy," the October 5, the statement said.

Stephenson denied the decision to transfer Basha was "about political correctness. I want to make it clear that this decision was taken on the basis of risk and safety."

On October 6, the Telegraph reported Bakri married Basha and his wife at the bride's London home three years ago. Bakri gained notoriety in Britain for praising the 9/11 terror attacks and for lauding the London 7/7 bombers as the "fantastic four". Bakri had also vowed he would never warn the police if he learned of plans of suicide attacks if they were to be carried out by fellow Muslims.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke deported Bakri to Lebanon, banning his return to the UK, on Aug 12, 2005 on the grounds that his presence in the UK was "not conductive to the public good".

"I know the couple because I married them," Bakri told the Telegraph. "Alex's father-in-law is also my brother-in-law. He also asked me to give a little talk in front of the family after they got married."

Bakri said he was unaware Basha was a policeman and encouraged him to quit the force, but noted he was not now close to the family. "To be honest we didn't have a good relationship because of my radical views," the Islamic cleric said.

Jewish community leaders were discouraged by the Met's handling of the affair. "The Police told us it was not due to moral objections but after a risk assessment exercise," that Basha was excused duty, Board of Deputies of British Jews chief executive officer Jon Benjamin told the Jerusalem Post.

Labor party chairwoman, Hazel Blears, criticized the police saying it was not "right that the police should pick and choose," their assignments. Conservative party shadow Home Secretary David Davis, concurred stating, "The duty of a police officer to uphold the law must come before any political opinion that he or she may hold. It can never be acceptable to bend this principle."

Former Flying Squad commander John O'Connor rejected the Met's official explanation telling the BBC that Basha should be dismissed form the force if he could not obey his policeman's oath.

Deference to conscience was not accepted as an excuse for not performing one's duty in an August 31, disciplinary hearing for nine Glasgow firemen. The nine were disciplined after they objected to handing out community safety pamphlets to people attending a gay pride festival on June 24.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said the nine were ordered to undergo diversity training and "now accept that they should have performed their duties. Their refusal was a fundamental breach of their core responsibilities."

"Firefighters cannot, and will not, pick and choose to whom they offer fire safety advice," the spokesman said.












Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag.... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”