She tried to trade in her pompoms for suicide bombs.
Former Mississippi State chemistry major Jaelyn Young – who had been a high school cheerleader, honor student and homecoming maid – pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to one count of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. She’ll be sentenced at a later date.
Young, whose father is a police officer and Navy veteran, sought to travel to Syria with her fiancé, Muhammad Dakhlalla, in order to become a medic for a terrorist group infamous for its cruel treatment of women and non-members. Dakhlalla pleaded guilty to a similar charge on March 11 and is also awaiting sentencing.
The couple was arrested Aug. 8 before boarding a flight from Columbus, Miss., with tickets for Istanbul that Young had purchased using her mom’s credit card without permission.
In her “goodbye” letter, she told her family not to look for her.
“Do not alert the authorities,” Young wrote. “I will contact you soon. I am safe. Don’t look for me because you won’t be able to retrieve me if you tried. I am leaving to become a medic.”