Two Mississippi State Students Accused of Attempting to Join Isis
Criminal charges have been filed against Jaelyn Delshaun Young & Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla alleging the two were traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State militant group.
Both were arrested Saturday morning at Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus, MS and are being charged with attempting and conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group.
Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla, 22, recently graduated from Mississippi State with a bachelor's degree in psychology and Jaelyn Delshaun Young, 19, was preparing to start grad school at the university.
An article by the Associated Press states,
The charges indicate that undercover FBI agents interacted online with Young beginning in May about her desire to travel to Syria to join the group. The charge states that her Twitter page said the only thing keeping her from traveling to Syria was her need to earn money. "I just want to be there," she is quoted as saying. In later conversations peppered with Arabic phrases, she said she planned a "nikkah," or Islamic marriage to Dakhlalla so they could travel without a chaperone under Islamic law.
In June, the first FBI agent passed Young off to a second FBI agent posing as an Islamic State facilitator. The charge says Young asked the second agent for help crossing from Turkey to Syria, saying "We don't know Turkey at all very well (I haven't even travelled outside U.S. before.)"
Young specified her skills with math and chemistry and said she and Dakhlalla would like to be medics treating the injured. Later, the charge says, she told the second FBI agent Dakhlalla could help with the Islamic State's Internet media, saying he "really wants to correct the falsehoods heard here" and the "U.S. media is all lies when regarding" the group, which she called by its preferred internal name, Dawlah.
Dakhlalla told the first FBI agent in an online conversation in June that he was "good with computers, education and media" and that his father had approved him and Young to get married. In July, the charges say, he expressed a desire to become a fighter for the group. "I am willing to fight," he is quoted as saying.
According to the federal affidavit, the day after the shooting in Chattanooga, Young was quoted as saying, "What makes me feel better after just watching the news, a akhi [that is Arabic for brother] carried out an attack against U.S. Marines in Tennessee. The number of supporters are growing."
A federal magistrate judge in Oxford, MS ordered on Tuesday, August 11th that the two be held without bail, pending grand jury action on the charges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander would not allow the accused to be released to family members for fear that both would attempt to commit acts of terrorism.