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Young US couple charged with trying to join Islamic State


Jackson: A court hearing was scheduled to continue today for a young US couple arrested on charges that they were trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State militant group.

Criminal charges filed Saturday say Jaelyn Delshaun Young, 19, and Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla, 22, were arrested that morning at a regional airport near Columbus, Mississippi.

Both are charged with attempting and conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group. An affidavit by an FBI agent says both confessed their plans after their arrest. A hearing on their detention began Monday, according to a local media report, and is set to continue Tuesday.

The court papers say both Young and Dakhlalla are US citizens. Mississippi State University spokesman Sid Salter said records show Dakhlalla graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Salter said Young was enrolled until May as a sophomore chemistry major but had not enrolled for classes since.

Dakhlalla’s relatives are “absolutely stunned” by the arrest and have been cooperating with the FBI, said Dennis Harmon, an attorney representing the family.

Dakhlalla is the youngest of three sons and was preparing to start grad school at Mississippi State University, Harmon said. The attorney also said the man’s father, Oda H. Dakhlalla, is imam of the Islamic Center of Mississippi in Starkville.

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