A Case Study in Conversion to Terror (UPDATED)

A former "All-American" cheerleader and a psychology student plead guilty to trying to join ISIS.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | March 31, 2016

UPDATE:  Kyle Shideler of the Center for Security Policy explains the links between the father’s mosque, the Muslim Students Association of Mississippi State University where the pair went to school, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Original Post:

It is the young woman who surprises the journalists who have written about the case.  The young man, Muhammad Dakhlalla, is the son of an imam from the West Bank.  Though his father does not support the Islamic State (ISIS) according to both of the young people, the story of a second-generation Muslim immigrant turning to radical Islam is a very common one.  That a first generation of Muslim immigrants is often succeeded by a radical second generation has been documented by Foreign Policy, PBS, and by statisticians in Denmark.  The first generation came to America or to Europe for reasons they felt strongly enough to make the move.  They understood they were electing to move to a society that was less Islamic, and accepted the trade off.  Their children, born in the West, did not experience the realities that made their parents leave the old world.  They reject the laws and customs of their new society as being opposed to their Islamic identity.  The Danish statistics found that second-generation Muslim immigrants are 218% more inclined to crime than their parents’ generation.

What is harder to understand is Jaelyn Young, the daughter of a Mississippi police officer with apparently strong roots in her community.  Is the blame properly put on ISIS propaganda?  On young love?  On radical teachings?  Or was it the effect of all three together that caused her to transform her life so completely?

According to prosecutors, Young’s transformation from model high school student to wannabe terrorist began in March 2015, when she announced her conversion to Islam.  Like many followers of the religion she began wearing a burqa, a modesty covering worn by some Muslim women in keeping with a strict interpretation of the Koran.

More troubling, however, was her rejection of family and friends, believing that associating with non-Muslims would be a ‘bad influence’, court documents show….

Prosecutors say that Young began to view [ISIS] as liberators, even going so far as to condone a video showing ISIS troops throwing a gay man off the roof of a building to his death.

What we cannot do, based on the evidence, is accept that she was a passive recipient of propaganda or radical teachings, or swayed into thoughtless obedience by young love.  It is important to realize how actively she worked towards joining ISIS.  The Clarion-Ledger has a timeline of the FBI’s investigation into the pair, chiefly through social media. It is clear that the young woman was an active partner in the conspiracy, and saw herself as the leader.   “I’m the one who made the contacts,” she told her family in a letter she left behind.  “I’m the one who made the plans.”

Ironically, the pair are probably more dangerous to America where they are going than they would have been in Syria.  Prison is a notorious incubator of jihad.  In Syria, she would have been isolated and he, lacking any military training, would probably have been killed in the civil war.  Now they both face years behind bars, where they will have access to Islamic clergy certified by a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, the Islamic Society of North America.  Fellow prisoners swayed by them will eventually be released into the United States.  Though the FBI did yeoman work in identifying and arresting this pair, our prison system’s inattention to the dangers of jihad makes them only more dangerous because of their convictions.



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