American Newlyweds Allegedly Planned To Join ISIS During 'Honeymoon'
A couple reportedly planned to claim they were leaving for their honeymoon when they were really heading to Syria to join the Islamic State.
According to CNN, 20-year-old Jaelyn Delshaun Young and 22-year-old Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla were arrested at an airport over the weekend and charged with conspiring and trying to supply material resources to the militant group.
The Mississippi couple, who got married in June, allegedly spent months speaking to undercover FBI agents they believed to be jihadi recruiters on social media.
Young wrote online she and Dakhlalla originally planned to fly to Greece from their home state and then take a bus to Turkey, CBS News reports. The plane tickets they ended up buying, however, detailed trips to Atlanta, Amsterdam and then Istanbul.
Young allegedly added the pair would claim to be "newlyweds on our honeymoon" should they be questioned about their reasons for traveling overseas, and each of them described how he or she could be useful to the Islamic State.
Young reportedly told the agents,
I am skilled in math and chemistry and worked at an analytical lab here on my college campus. My partner is very good with things like computer science/media. We learn very fast and would love to help with giving medical aid.
According to CBS News, Dakhlalla, who is the son of an imam, said,
I am good with computers, education and media… I am willing to fight.
Young also reportedly said she was excited to "raise little Dawlah cubs" and lauded the July 16 attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee when an Islamic extremist killed five people.
In the days leading up to their trip, Young said she wasn't expecting any trouble at the airport.
CNN reports she explained,
We live in a small town with a very small [poor] airport that doesn't have much, if any, security. ... That's one U.S. weakness -- small towns' airports have poor funding and less educated staff so it is easier to get through.
The pair bought plane tickets last week and was arrested on Saturday at Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus, Mississippi.
Both reportedly admitted their terrorist intentions after the arrest.
The couple is currently in custody, and if convicted, they could each face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, CBS News reports.