Local psychologist weighs in on MSU students alleged plan to joi - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Local psychologist weighs in on MSU students alleged plan to join ISIS

Jaelyn Young (Source: The Vicksburg Post) Jaelyn Young (Source: The Vicksburg Post)
Mohammad Dakhlalla (Source: WTVA) Mohammad Dakhlalla (Source: WTVA)

A Mississippi couple remains behind bars accused of trying to leave the U.S, fly to Syria, and join ISIS.

19-year-old Jaelyn Young and 22-year-old Muhammad Dakhalla, both Mississippi State University students, sit in jail facing federal charges after undercover agents busted them while communicating with them via social media.

Dr. Rosie Bingham, a licensed psychologist and Vice President at a local university weighed in Wednesday.  She says she understands how some college-aged kids can be easily influenced, perhaps even convinced to join ISIS.

"ISIS does that. It makes them feel that they're fighting for a greater good," said Dr. Bingham.

It begs the question, has the United States become a recruiting ground for ISIS?

Federal agents took the couple into custody Saturday at an airport in Columbus, Mississippi. Young told investigators she chose that airport because she believed it would be less secure.

According to federal documents, Young admitted she wanted to travel to Turkey and eventually meet with representatives from ISIS to interview. To cover it up, she said, "Our story will be that we are newlyweds on our honeymoon."

Young was homecoming maid in high school and an honor student, seemingly an All-american girl.  Family friends said 22-year-old Muhammed Dakhlalla was on his way to graduate school.

"I've never even seen Mo roll his eyes if his father asked him to do something," said Dennis Harmon, a family friend of Muhammad Dakhlalla.

Many parents told WMC Action News 5 reporter Jerry Askin off camera Wednesday that situations like this one is why they make sure they constantly monitor their children during college to make sure everything is truly okay.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bingham agrees and says constant communication is very important.

"Ask them about their activities, what kinds of activities are they involved in, with whom they are involved, and let it be part of the conversation," said Dr. Bingham.

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