Saturday, August 13

Black woman who planned to join ISIS with fiancé is sentenced to 12 years in prison

A Mississippi college student who tried to disguise a trip to Syria to join ISIS as her honeymoon has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on terror charges. Vicksburg native Jaelyn Young, 20, sobbed in court during her sentencing by U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock on Thursday.

She pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Young had faced up to 20 years in prison. Her parents pleaded for leniency at Thursday's hearing. An emotional Young said she was ashamed of her actions.

Her fiance, 22-year-old Muhammad Dakhlalla, pleaded guilty March 11 to a similar charge and is set to be sentenced August 24. Prosecutors have said Young, who converted to Islam while studying at Mississippi State University, had prodded Dakhlalla into the plan.

The two were arrested in 2015 before boarding a flight from Columbus, Mississippi, with tickets for Istanbul, Turkey.

'I found the contacts, made arrangements, planned the departure,' Young had written in a farewell letter to her family. 'I am guilty of what you soon will find out.'

Young and Dakhlalla were among several suspected ISIS sympathizers who were arrested around the country. Like many, authorities said, they had developed views supporting the extremist group in part by watching online videos and were arrested after social media posts drew the attention of the FBI.

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