Jaelyn Delshaun Young: Mississippi Woman Wrote Family About Plans To Join ISIS

Mississippi woman Jaelyn Delshaun Young, 20, has pleaded guilty to charges that she was trying to join ISIS along with her supposed fiancé, Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla, and provide support for the terrorist group. She faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of over $250,000.

According to a CNN report, the couple was headed to Syria from a Mississippi airport. Both were arrested after attempting to purchase plane tickets to Istanbul using Young’s mother’s credit card.

Prosecutors say the FBI had identified Young as pro-ISIS on social media in May 2015. During undercover interactions, Young revealed she was planning to move to an ISIS-held territory in Syria with a partner and was seeking advice on Twitter on how to travel to the war-ridden country.

Young, the daughter of a police officer and a school administrator, was studying chemistry at Mississippi State University before converting to Islam from watching online videos. Prosecutors say that she is the one who encouraged Dakhlalla to join the terrorist sect. Dakhlalla is the son of a local imam. Authorities also say Young hatched the plan for them to lie about getting married and go on a fake honeymoon in a bid to enter Syria.

A court affidavit states that after Young revealed she was a Muslim in March 2015, she started wearing a burqa, the garment worn by women to conceal their faces and bodies. She also distanced herself from her family and friends, believing that they would be a bad influence on her because they were not of the same faith.

Young repeatedly complained about the treatment of Muslims in America and the United Kingdom. According to prosecutors, she started to see ISIS terrorists as liberators and expressed approval when a gay man was thrown off a roof in the Islamic State and justified the shooting of five military men in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Young hailed the shooter, Mohammad Abdulazeez, during an online interaction with an FBI agent, saying that “what makes me feel better after just watching the news is that an akhi (brother) carried out an attack against US marines in TN! Alhamdulillah [Thanks be to God], the numbers of supporters are growing.”

Young was trying to save money before moving to Syria with Dakhlalla to join the extremist group.

“The only thing keeping me away is $ but working all of this overtime will be worth it, when I am finally there,” she allegedly revealed in an online chat.

When talking to FBI undercover agents posing as ISIS recruiters, Young said she had good skills in chemistry and math, but she wanted to work as a medic alongside Dakhlalla and treat wounded ISIS fighters.

The couple were eager to travel and asked how things worked in Syria.

Dakhlalla allegedly asked in an email, “I wanted to ask about the military experience there. Would I be with people that speak English as well or will they put me with everyone at basic training? I’m excited about coming… but I feel I won’t know all I will be doing.”

Young told her family in a farewell letter that she was off to be a medic with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and that they should not bother trying to find her because it would difficult. She told them that she was guilty of everything they would find out.

Young was ranked the 19th best student two years ago at Warren Central High School with a 4.089 GPA, and she earned a Dean Andrews scholarship to Mississippi State University. Dakhlalla had graduated from the same university in 2015 with a degree in psychology.

ISIS occupies territory easily accessible through Turkey. This has made it an easy connection for Westerners trying to become a part of the Islamic State. The informal recruitment network mainly done on the dark web and social media is also difficult for investigators to keep tabs on.

[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]

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