A Mississippi woman who once sought to disguise a planned journey to join the Islamic State group as her honeymoon was sentenced by a federal judge Thursday to 12 years in prison on a terrorism charge.
Vicksburg native Jaelyn Young broke down in heavy sobs during her sentencing by U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock. Young pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
Young had faced up to 20 years in prison.
Her parents pleaded for leniency at Thursday’s hearing. Young, amid sobs, said she was ashamed of her actions.
Her fiance, Muhammad Dakhlalla, pleaded guilty March 11 to a similar charge and is set to be sentenced Aug. 24. Prosecutors have said Young, who converted to Islam while studying at Mississippi State University, had prodded Dakhlalla into the plan.
The two were arrested in 2015 before boarding a flight from Columbus, Mississippi, with tickets for Istanbul, Turkey.
“I found the contacts, made arrangements, planned the departure,” Young had written in a farewell letter to her family. “I am guilty of what you soon will find out.”
Young and Dakhlalla were among a number of people arrested around the country for Islamic State sympathies. Like many, authorities said, they had developed views supporting the Islamic State in part by watching online videos and were arrested after social media posts attracted the attention of the FBI.
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