The latest would-be ISIS recruits are a couple from Mississippi, 19-year-old Jaelyn Delshaun Young and 21-year-old Muhammad Oda Daklalla. According to an unsealed criminal complaint reported by ABC News, “The FBI says the couple planned for months to travel to Turkey in order to slip into Syria and join ISIS.”
Young reportedly said online that she was working overtime hours to save up the funds for her big trip to join the caliphate, where she hoped to serve ISIS as a field medic, while Dakhlalla (with whom she had “an Islamic marriage for the purposes of traveling together for Syria”) would put his computer science and media skills at the terror state’s disposal. However, Dakhlalla took pains to assure an undercover FBI agent that he was “willing to fight,” portraying himself as a “holy warrior” who only needed to be taught “what it really means to have that heart in battle.”
Young seemed more interested in watching other people do the killing, going out of her way to praise Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who died after launching a murderous attack on military recruiters and a Navy training center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The government has been extremely shy about portraying Abdulazeez’s rampage as a jihad attack, but Young had no such hesitation.
“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,” she told an undercover FBI agent during an online conversation, as edited by ABC News.
Many of her social media posts were peppered with Arabic and Islamic phrases. The FBI began communicating with her online in May, when she evidently stopped registering for classes in her sophomore chemistry program. A second FBI undercover operative was eventually introduced to her in the guise of an ISIS recruiter.
Young attended Mississippi State with aspirations of becoming a doctor, and she was reportedly a high school honors student as well as a member of the homecoming court, but she was shockingly ill-informed about what is actually going on within the borders of the evil empire she wished to serve.
As ABC put it, “The couple appeared uninformed about many aspects of living under ISIS rule – they said they did not know much about Sharia [Islamic] law, and feared a test that was said to show if they were Sunni or not. ISIS follows an extreme version of Sunni Islam. Young also doubted Western media reports that ISIS uses sex slaves.”
As for Muhammad Dakhlalla, he is said to have graduated from Mississippi State in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. The Daily Mail reports that his father blessed the “Islamic marriage” he arranged with Young, enabling them to travel without a chaperon under Islamic law. According to Young, he hoped to use his computer and media skills to improve the image of ISIS in the West, because as she put it, “U.S. media is all lies” when it comes to covering the Islamic State.
The couple wasn’t just talking about their jihadi dreams — they had their passports and plane tickets to Turkey in hand when the authorities swooped in and arrested them at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus, Mississippi. Young was reportedly convinced that flying out of such a small airport would make it more difficult for the police to detect them. The couple confessed their plans to the FBI after being taken into custody and are being held without bail pending grand jury action on charges of attempting to support a terrorist organization.