August 11, 2015

Mississippi Couple Charged with Conspiracy and Attempt to Provide Material Support to ISIL

WASHINGTON—A Starkville, Mississippi, couple was arrested over the weekend for allegedly conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Felicia C. Adams of the Northern District of Mississippi and Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway of the FBI’s Jackson Division.

Jaelyn Delshaun Young, 20, and Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla, 22, were charged by criminal complaint with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIL. They appeared this morning for preliminary and detention hearings before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander of the Northern District of Mississippi. Young and Dakhlalla were denied bond and remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.

According to the criminal complaint filed in this case:

This investigation began in May 2015, when the defendant expressed a desire to travel to Syria in support of ISIL, and made several supportive statements about the designated foreign terrorist organization. Both defendants subsequently expressed their readiness to travel overseas to join ISIL.

The defendants procured passports and made arrangements to fly to Istanbul via Amsterdam. On or about Aug. 8, 2015, Young and Dakhlalla travelled to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus, Mississippi, for their international flight. The defendants were arrested and, according to the complaint, were interviewed and both confessed to attempting to travel to Turkey to join ISIL in Syria.

The charge in the complaint carries a maximum of potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The case is being investigated by the FBI Jackson’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Clayton Joyner and Robert Norman of the Northern District of Mississippi and Trial Attorney Rebecca Magnone of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.