In recent months, Virginia residents have read time and again of cases in which individuals have been accused of taking action to support terrorism. The latest of these accusations involves a transit police officer working in the greater Washington DC area. The 36-year-old man stands accused of taking action to support the terrorist group known as the Islamic State and is facing federal crimes charges.
Terrorism has become a significant concern among the American population, and for good reason. Many of these groups are incredibly violent, and have launched multiple campaigns to spread terror throughout the United States and other parts of the world. This has led to a set of circumstances in which any act that is even suggestive of providing aid to a terrorist group is taken very seriously.
In this case, federal agents allege that a man working as a police officer in Washington’s Metro system took intentional action to directly support Islamic State fighters. According to reports, the man provided access codes for mobile messaging cards in the belief that the cards would be used for communications between Islamic State operatives. There is no word on how many of these codes the man provided, or how they were obtained. Authorities have stated that they do not believe that these actions were taken in an effort to compromise the security of the Metro system.
Any time a charge of terrorism is made, public reaction is swift and strong. However, it is important to remember that not every accusation of federal crimes results in a conviction. This man, just as any other Virginia citizen, deserves to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. The full details of the case have not yet been made available, and it is wise to withhold judgment until such time as the full scope of the matter can be determined.
Source: The Washington Post, “Police officer for D.C. subway system accused of trying to help ISIS“, Rachel Weiner, Aug. 3, 2016