The US authorities said that a Mississippi woman and her fiancé tried to go to Syria to join IS.
20-year-old Jaelyn Young and her 22-year-old fiancé, Muhammad Dakhlalla pleaded guilty to the same charges in Aberdeen federal court. In her farewell letter, Young told her family that she was leaving to join IS.
Prosecutors said that she wrote in the letter, “I found the contacts, made arrangements, planned the departure. I am guilty of what you soon will find out.”
She also wrote, “do not alert the authorities… I will contact you soon. I am safe. Don’t look for me because you won’t be able to retrieve me if you tried. I am leaving to become a medic.”
She admitted the same in Tuesday’s court hearing.
The couple was arrested in August last year while they were about to board a flight to Istanbul. Court papers confirmed that Young is originally from Vicksburg.
The former Mississippi State University student faces up to 20 years in prison. Her fiancé, on the other hand, pleaded guilty on March 11. The couple planned to make their departure look as if it was a honeymoon trip, reported The Seattle Times. Unfortunately, they contacted undercover federal agents while trying to ask for help so they can travel to Syria.
Young is a daughter of a school administrator and a police officer who served in the Navy. She was a former honour student, homecoming maid and cheerleader at Vicksburg’s Central High School, reported ABC News.
Jaelyn Young converted to Islam while she was studying at the Mississippi State University. She was drawn towards IS partly by the online videos, stated the prosecutors. She announced her conversion in March 2015 and started wearing a burqa.
Prosecutors said, “After her conversion, Young distanced herself from family and friends and felt spending time with non-Muslims would be a bad influence.”
The statement issued by the prosecutors also said that Young started complaining about the treatment of Muslims in US and UK. It also said that pro-Islamic State group videos had a very deep influence on her as she started viewing the fighters as liberators.
She was the one who convinced Dakhlalla to join the terrorist group.
The statement further read, “Young continually asked Dakhlalla when they were going to join (the Islamic State group) and began to express hatred for the U.S. government and to express support for the implementation of Sharia law in the United States.”