A 20-year-old Mississippi student who was caught planning a trip to join the Islamic State as part of her honeymoon received a 12-year prison sentence Thursday on terrorism charges. Jaelyn Young was arrested in 2015 with her fiance, Muhammad Dakhlalla, while they were preparing to board a flight from Columbus, Miss., to Istanbul, Turkey.
According to prosecutors, Young converted to Islam while studying at Mississippi State University and urged her fiancé into going along with the plan. She pleaded guilty in March to providing material support to a terrorist organization.
Young and her parents appeared in court for sentencing, where she broke down in sobs and said she was ashamed of her actions and her parents pleaded for leniency. She faced up to 20 years in prison. Her fiancé is expected to be sentenced at the end of this month.
Prosecutors said that Young, the daughter of a police officer who served in the Navy reserve and a school administrator, was an honor student and cheerleader and became interested in converting to Islam while at college before she began dating Dakhlalla. She then began wearing a burqa and planning to go to Syria, at which point she contacted undercover agents online for help in planning the trip, according to earlier reporting by The Associated Press.
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