police

A landmark arrest was recently made, as a law enforcement officer was charged with terrorism-related activities, the first time that's ever happened in the United States. The man, who is 36 years old, was a Metro Transit Police officer.

The officer was apparently attempting to help ISIS by buying gift cards and giving the codes to someone within the group. The gift cards that he bought were worth around $250. If they had actually gone through, ISIS could have used them to buy mobile messaging apps.

Federal Agents Step In

The messages did not go through, however, because the man was not talking to ISIS at all. He was talking to Federal agents. An undercover FBI officer got the codes and the agents were then able to move forward with the arrest. Though the case is still ongoing, a conviction could mean as many as two decades behind bars.

A Troubled History

There were actually a lot of red flags in this case, and the FBI had been keeping an eye on the man since 2010. In 2011, he gathered up a Kevlar, body armor, and other items similar to those used by the armed forces, and he went to Libya. He said he was giving his support to the rebel group that was at the time trying to overthrow dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Interestingly, the man was worried about being watched, apparently with reason. He would sometimes remove his cellphone's battery while talking to people face-to-face. On multiple occasions, he warned someone to watch out for government informants. Ironically, that person was an undercover agent.

Rights After Being Charged

This has the potential to become a high-profile case, as it's something the United States has never seen before. It is important to remember that all people accused of crimes, even law enforcement officers, have the same basic rights, such as the right to a presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial.

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