Social Media Trail Led FBI To Accused ISIS Sympathizers
Two Mississippians have been accused of wanting to join ISIS after allegedly telegraphing it online
A Mississippi woman identified by the FBI as a potential ISIS supporter after she tweeted out a desire to travel to Syria appears to have liked controversial pages on Facebook and allegedly made statements on Twitter supporting the militant group.
A Facebook page discovered by Vocativ that appears to belong to the woman, Jaelyn Delshaun Young, indicates she became more interested in religion and politics over the past two years. Her “liked” pages in 2013 were almost completely non-political. But a year later she liked several pages belonging to popular Imams. And in 2015 she liked a page called “Diary of a Muhajira,” which appears to take the same name as a popular blog run by Umm Layth, an ISIS recruiter. Muhajira means one who has made the pilgrimage.
Young was arrested at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus, Mississippi, on Saturday, along with Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla. The two appeared in court on Tuesday and are facing charges of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Both are former Mississippi State University students. A Facebook page that appears to be Dakhlalla’s only has “likes” for pop culture pages.
According to court documents, an undercover FBI agent got in contact with Young after she “expressed a desire to travel to Syria in support of ISIL and made several supportive statements of ISIL,” the complaint says, using an alternate name for ISIS. Now, she and Dakhlalla face 20 years in prison.
“The only thing keeping me away is $$$ but working all this overtime will finally be worth it when I am finally there,” reads one tweet cited in the complaint against Young. Following the initial posts in mid-May that brought her to the FBI’s attention, two undercover officers maintained near constant contact with Young and Dakhlalla until their arrest over the weekend. It’s unclear from the court documents whether either Young or Dakhalla are alleged to have ever been in touch with anyone actually from ISIS, or just with undercover FBI agents.
Following the news of the arrest, friends took to Facebook to defend Young. “I dont care what nobody says! Im not turnin my back on Jaelyn Young,” wrote one. “She’s been one of the most amazing ppl in my life since since elementary. Love you Jaelyn. Hope God sees you through this.”