US couple charged in Islamic State case denied bail
OXFORD, Mississippi (AP) — A young Mississippi couple who are charged with attempting to join the Islamic State were ordered held without bail Tuesday, pending federal grand jury action on the charges.
Twenty-year-old Jaelyn Delshaun Young and 22-year-old Muhammad “Mo” Dakhlalla, who were arrested at a local airport just before boarding a flight with tickets bound for Istanbul, went before a U.S. Magistrate Judge on Tuesday in Oxford, Mississippi.
The judge denied bail, saying that even though the pair have never been in trouble with the law and have relatives willing to oversee their home confinement, their desire commit terrorism is “probably still there.”
Urging the court to keep the suspects in custody, Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner likened them to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, saying that like him, they could commit violence with knives, vehicles or homemade weapons.
“They don’t need a gun to do harm,” Joyner said. “They don’t need military training to do harm. What they need is a violent, extremist ideology, and that’s exactly what they have espoused.”
FBI agents arrested them at a Mississippi airport, filing criminal charges that both were attempting and conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group, a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
An FBI agent’s affidavit said both confessed their plans after their arrest. Defense attorneys declined to comment after the hearing, but told the court that the material didn’t prove either had committed a crime.
Court papers say both Young and Dakhlalla are U.S. citizens.
The government says FBI agents began interacting online with Young in May about her desire to travel to Syria to join the group. It says her Twitter page said the only thing keeping her from traveling to Syria was her need to earn money.