Officer goes before judge on terrorism charge

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A Washington, D.C.-area transit police officer charged with attempting to support the Islamic State group has made his initial appearance in court.

Thirty-six-year-old Nicholas Young of Fairfax appeared Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. A magistrate appointed a public defender to represent Young after he requested a court-appointed attorney.

The FBI says Young is the first law enforcement officer in the U.S. to be charged under the federal government’s terrorism law.

Young was wearing a T-shirt and what appeared to be his uniform slacks. Authorities say he was arrested earlier in the day at the Metro Transit Police headquarters in Washington.

He said little else during the court hearing, which lasted less than 5 minutes. Prosecutor John Gibbs said Young could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the terrorism charge.

Court documents say Young bought nearly $250 in gift cards he intended for the Islamic State to use to purchase mobile messaging apps.

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