2 US res­i­dents aimed to join Is­lamic State

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JEFF AMY

Two res­i­dents of the south­ern U.S. state of Mis­sis­sippi were ar­rested over the week­end on charges that they were try­ing to travel abroad to join the Is­lamic State mil­i­tant group.

A crim­i­nal charge filed Satur­day says Jae­lyn Delshaun Young, 19, and Muham­mad Oda Dakhlalla, 22, were ar­rested that morn­ing at Golden Tri­an­gle Re­gional Air­port near Colum­bus, Mis­sis­sippi.

Both are charged with at­tempt­ing and con­spir­ing to pro­vide ma­te­rial sup­port to a ter­ror­ist group. A hear­ing on their de­ten­tion be­gan Mon­day in Ox­ford ac­cord­ing to WTVA-TV, and As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Chad La­mar said it will con­tinue Tues­day. La­mar re­fused to com­ment on the case, say­ing fed­eral of­fi­cials would re­lease a state­ment Tues­day.

The charges in­di­cate that both con­fessed their plans to FBI agents af­ter their ar­rest Satur­day. It was un­clear late Mon­day which lawyers were rep­re­sent­ing the two.

Both Young and Dakhlalla are U. S. cit­i­zens. Mis­sis­sippi State Univer­sity spokesman Sid Sal­ter said records show Dakhlalla grad­u­ated in May with a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in psy­chol­ogy. He said Young was en­rolled un­til May as a sopho­more chem­istry ma­jor but had not en­rolled for classes since. Young, orig­i­nally from Vicks­burg, was a 2013 hon­ors grad­u­ate from War­ren Cen­tral High School, The Vicks­burg Post re­ported.

The charge in­di­cates 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 trav­eled out­side U.S. be­fore.)”

Young spec­i­fied her skills with math and chem­istry and said she and Dakhlalla would like to be medics treat­ing the wounded. Later, the charge says, she told the sec­ond FBI agent that 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.

AP

In this Oct. 5, 2012 photo, Jae­lyn Young, an honor stu­dent at War­ren Cen­tral High School, poses for a photo in Vicks­burg, Mis­sis­sippi.

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