Young’s family not at fault, but must share consequences of her actions

Published 10:05 am Friday, August 12, 2016

When Vicksburg native Jaelyn Young received her sentence in federal court Thursday, it did not mark the end to what is a very sad story.

Last August, Jaelyn, who was a standout student, cheerleader and a member of the homecoming court at Warren Central High School, was arrested, along with her fiancé, Muhammad Dakhlalla, for attempting to join the terrorist organization ISIS.

When the news broke, it became an international story and one that shook a very strong and well-respected Vicksburg family to its core.

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When they were arrested, the two Mississippi State students were attempting to board a plane in Columbus bound for Istanbul, Turkey. From there, they had made plans to maneuver their way across the Syrian border to join ISIS; Young wanting to serve as a medic helping wounded ISIS fighters and Dakhlalla seeking to become a fighter.

But, with Young’s sentence, the story does not end. The sadness of the story does not end. The pain felt by her family does not end.

Thursday’s sentence once again ignited the social media feeding frenzy on this family, often times making comments well beyond the boundaries of decency.

Young admitted to her crimes and received her sentence. She must now do the time for her crimes.

But, she will not do them alone. Her family, although not behind bars, will emotionally be behind bars with their beloved daughter and loved one for all of the remaining years of that 12-year sentence.

Did Young deserve her sentence? Yes. She broke the law and attempted to join an organization bent on killing innocent people and who has as its mission to destroy America.

She was wrong and sentence reflects that.

But today we offer our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to her family and friends, who did not join her and her fiancé on their failed attempt to becoming terrorists, but who must in some way share in the consequences.