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ISIS recruit from Mississippi says he was blinded by love

Jaelyn Young and Muhammad Dakhlalla
Jaelyn Young and Muhammad Dakhlalla

They say some people will do anything for love. For one Mississippi man, that apparently meant attempting to join a terrorist organization overseas.

Muhammad Dakhlalla pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization after the 22-year-old and his former fiancee, Jaelyn Young, were caught at a Columbus, Miss., airport in August 2015 trying to leave the country to join the Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS.

Dakhlalla and Young met while they attended Mississippi State University in Starkville.

Dakhlalla was sentenced to eight years in prison in August 2016 and thanked the FBI for stopping him from heading overseas, according to the Associated Press.

Young, a Vicksburg native, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, AP reported.

In a new interview with CNN, Dakhlalla, now 24, said he was blinded by love when he decided he would leave with Young to join the Islamic State.

Speaking with the national news channel from federal prison, Dakhlalla said Young had always expressed interest in Islam but became more conservative and strict after she converted. Then, she began showing her beau videos and convinced him to “help fellow Muslims in a newly forming Muslim state,” CNN reported.

“When she showed me that video, I think it’s just kind of like — brought a tenseness in her and ... really strong anger in her. And she expressed those things to me. And, you know, me being in love with her, I felt those same things I guess, just because she was feeling it,” Dakhlalla told CNN.

For the full CNN report, click here.

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