Newly-converted Mississippi cheerleader confesses ISIS ties, wannabe terrorism to the FBI
04/04/2016 / By newstarget / Comments
Newly-converted Mississippi cheerleader confesses ISIS ties, wannabe terrorism to the FBI

The daughter of a school administrator and a police officer who served in the Navy reserve, Jaelyn Young’s childhood in Mississippi mirrored that of millions of girls across America.

(Article by Chris Pleasance, republished from //

In high school she eagerly participated in school traditions, becoming a cheerleader and a homecoming maid while also studying hard, graduating as an honors student.

But while studying chemistry at Mississippi State University that all changed as she converted to Islam and had her mind warped by online propaganda videos from the likes of ISIS.

Yesterday Young pleaded guilty to attempting to join ISIS in Syria along with her fiance Muhammad Dakhlalla, after unwittingly telling undercover agents they were planning to use their honeymoon as cover to travel to the Middle East and become medics for the terror group.

According to prosecutors, Young’s transformation from model high school student to wannabe terrorist began in March 2015, when she announced her conversion to Islam.

Like many followers of the religion she began wearing a burqa, a modesty covering worn by some Muslim women in keeping with a strict interpretation of the Koran.

More troubling, however, was her rejection of family and friends, believing that associating with non-Muslims would be a ‘bad influence’, court documents show.

As her views grew more extreme, prosecutors say Young began to complain about the treatment of Muslims in western nations, particularly the US and UK.


Little did her loved ones know that, behind the outward trappings of her new-found piety, Young’s thinking was being influenced by terrorist propaganda videos, aimed at poisoning the minds of impressionable youths.

Prosecutors say that Young began to view the fighters as liberators, even going so far as to condone a video showing ISIS troops throwing a gay man off the roof of a building to his death.

FBI agents say her radicalization began after she left high school (pictured) and joined Mississippi State University where she began converted to Islam and began watching terrorist propaganda videos

In a conversation with one of their undercover agents, Young also praised Mohammad Abdulazeez, the shooter who killed four marines at a military office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last year.

Writing to an undercover FBI agent, she said: ‘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,’

Meanwhile, she was trying to save money to move to Syria with Dakhlalla, who is also from Mississippi, to join the Islamist extremist group.

‘The only thing keeping me away is $ but working all of this overtime will be worth [it] when I am finally there,’ Young allegedly wrote in the online chat.

It comes just two years after she was ranked 19th best in her year at Warren Central High School with a 4.089 GPA and an H. Dean Andrews Scholarship to MSU.

Dakhlalla graduated from Mississippi State University last May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. 

Young was enrolled until May as a sophomore chemistry major but had not signed up for any more classes since. Young, originally from Vicksburg, was a 2013 honors graduate from Warren Central High School.

According to The Vicksburg Post, Young had spoken for years about plans to be a doctor. In her online chats with undercover FBI agents she allegedly expressed plans to treat ISIS fighters’ injuries.

‘I just want to be there,’ she allegedly told the FBI agent.

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 travelled outside U.S. before.)’

Young specified her skills with math and chemistry and said she and Dakhlalla would like to be medics treating the injured.

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, which she called by its preferred internal name, Dawlah.

Dakhlalla told the first FBI agent in an online conversation in June that he was ‘good with computers, education and media’ and that his father had approved him and Young to get married.

In July, the charges say, he expressed a desire to become a fighter for the group. ‘I am willing to fight,’ he is quoted as saying.

Young later told the FBI that she and Dakhlalla had got married June 6 and they planned to claim they were traveling on their honeymoon as a cover story. She also expressed a desire to ‘raise little Dawlah cubs.’

The FBI said Dakhlalla and Young both expressed impatience with how long it was taking for them to be issued passports, and the charges say Dakhlalla paid $340 to expedite passport processing on July 1.

Though the charges say earlier messages indicate the couple planned to fly to Greece and then take a bus to Turkey, the couple later bought tickets on Delta Air Lines leaving Golden Triangle bound for Atlanta, Amsterdam and ultimately Istanbul. Young expressed confidence that security at the small airport would not detect them.

After pleading guilty to terror charges yesterday, Young now faces up to 20 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and lifetime probation.

Dakhlalla, 22, pleaded guilty on March 11 to a similar charge and awaits sentencing. Prosecutors have said Young prodded Dakhlalla into the plan.

Read more at: //

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