Husband Of Jaelyn Young, Woman Who Tried To Join ISIS, Says He Was Blinded By Love
We told you about Jaelyn Young, the young woman from Mississippi who tried to join ISIS in 2015. A few months ago, we informed you that she was given 12 years in prison after being cited as the “mastermind” behind a plan for Young and her husband, Muhammad Dakhlalla, to join the group. But what we haven’t heard much about is Dakhlalla. In a new interview with CNN, he shares his side of the story. He claims that Young put together the plan to join ISIS, and he followed along with it because he was head over heels in love with her.
Known as “Mo,” according to Dakhlalla, 24, he was just an ordinary college student from Mississippi, a Muslim with an imam father and a guy with lots of friends before he met and fell for Mississippi State University cheerleader Jaelyn Young. In love and allegedly blinded by it, Dakhlalla told CNN that he found himself learning about ISIS after Young introduced him to the terrorist group’s online videos.
“When she showed me that video, I think it just kind of brought a tenseness in her,” Dakhlalla said of the impact of the group’s online propaganda. “I felt those same things, I guess, just because she was feeling it. It progressed to the point that my mind wasn’t thinking straight.”
According to him, soon after meeting Young, she converted to Islam, changed her way of dress and started sharing what she’d been learning about ISIS with him. She thought the group was misunderstood and actually doing good work, including feeding the hungry and rebuilding towns. They married and went through a preparation period for what they hoped would come next. Young reached out to a person she thought was an ISIS recruiter so they could travel to Turkey, cross the border into Syria and do what was necessary to join ISIS. However, that person was actually an FBI agent. After writing goodbye notes to their families, the couple was arrested on Aug. 8, 2015, apprehended at the airport on their way to board a flight to Turkey.
Dakhlalla and Young plead guilty this past summer to one count of conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists. He was given eight years due to his cooperation with authorities. As for Young, as we told you, she was given 12 years after originally facing 20 in prison. Her lawyer claimed that she made such dangerous decisions due to “mental instability” and her family asked for leniency, saying that Young was ashamed of her actions. She refused to speak to CNN.
Dakhlalla is reportedly sharing his story in the hopes of keeping others from finding themselves in a similar situation. And with a number of American people being arrested for trying to join, plot and see through attacks in the name of ISIS, he noted that it’s easier than you think to get lured in.
“Don’t do what I did,” he said. “What they’re doing over there, what ISIS is doing over there, that’s not Islam.”
Images via YouTube and AP