A young Mississippi woman pleaded guilty to planning, along with her husband, to support ISIS–only a half a year after, she and the young man attempted to carry out their mission, traveling the Syria in hopes of joining the terrorist group. Fortunately, the couple was caught before they could carry out their plans.
Jaelyn Young, who was only 19 when she was convicted last August, entered the plea in a Mississippi federal courthouse this afternoon, according to the Department of Justice. Her husband, Muhammad Dakhlalla, pleaded guilty to a similar charge earlier this month, according to court documents.
The FBI discovered Young’s pro-ISIS social media posts, one of which read, “The only thing keeping me away is $$$ but working all this overtime will be worth [it] when I am finally there” and “I just want to be there 🙁 #IS.” Young, a former honor student, was well-versed in chemistry and math. Her partner, Dakhlalla, 22, also had a knack for computer science and media. They believed that they could provide aid for the group in a variety of ways–they just needed to find a way to travel from Syria through Turkey.
The couple got as far as an airport in Columbus, Miss. in early August in hopes of heading to Turkey, but federal agents awaited their arrival.
After news spread of the couple’s arrest, a friend of Young’s from Mississippi State University told ABC News that Young was known as a “kind, bubbly person.”
“She was so smart, top of her class, studying to be a doctor,” said Crystal Worley. “It’s just so insane that this happened. It’s just really disappointing.”
This statement is contradictory to Young’s online profile and comments that she made regarding a fatal shooting in Chattanooga a month prior to her arrest.
“What makes me feel bette[r] 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 told one of the undercover FBI agents in a conversation online on July 17, a day after the shooting, according to the FBI. Four Marines were killed in the attack and a Navy sailor died because of serious injuries.