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Mississippi man sentenced to 8 years in prison for attempting to join Islamic State (IS)

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Fourth Estate Staff

Columbus, MS, United States (4E) – A Mississippi man, who was a psychology student, planned to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) was convicted of the crime and now faces 8 year behind bars.

The man, 22-year-old Muhammad Dakhlalla , tried to join IS with his fiancée . He was supposed to face 20 years in prison and pay $250,000 in fines. He was also supposed to be on lifetime probation but he recently pleaded guilty to conspiring to join IS. In the plea deal, after serving eight years in prison, he will be under 15 years of probation following his release from jail.

The fiancée of Dakhlalla was sentenced earlier this month to 12 years behind bars and 15 years in prison. She was also ordered to undergo mental health treatment. The fiancée , Jaelyn Young, reportedly converted to Islam while in college at the Mississippi State University. She is said to be the mastermind in the plan to go to Syria and fight alongside the IS. She reportedly persuaded Dakhlalla .

Dakhlalla and Young were arrested in August 2014. They prepared to board a flight from Columbus, Mississippi. In August 2015, the couple contacted federal undercover FBI agents who posed as IS supporters. They reportedly asked the agents to help them travel to Syria.

The two planned to disguise their trip as a honeymoon because they planned to get married in Turkey.

Young reportedly showed her interest in the IS by talking about some terror-related acts. She cited a video showing militants throwing a man off of a roof to his death. The man is said to be gay. She also reportedly expressed her approval about a shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee that left five U.S. service members dead.

The family of Dakhlalla said that they expected him to go to graduate school in psychology at Mississippi State and that he never discussed about his interest in the IS.


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