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US Man Sentenced to 8 Years for Trying to Join IS

  • VOA News

FILE - This Aug. 11, 2015, photo shows the Islamic Center of Mississippi in Starkville, Mississippi, where 22-year-old Muhammad Dakhlalla was a member.

FILE - This Aug. 11, 2015, photo shows the Islamic Center of Mississippi in Starkville, Mississippi, where 22-year-old Muhammad Dakhlalla was a member.

A psychology student from the southern U.S. state of Mississippi who tried to travel to Syria with his fiancee to join Islamic State has been sentenced to eight years in prison on federal terrorism charges.

Muhammad Dakhlalla, 22, could have faced up to 20 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and lifetime probation on federal terrorism charges after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to join the extremist group.

He also was sentenced to 15 years of probation.

His fiancee, Jaelyn Young, was sentenced earlier this month to 12 years in prison and 15 years of probation, including mandatory mental health treatment.

Prosecutors have portrayed Young, who converted to Islam while studying at Mississippi State University, as the mastermind who talked Dakhlalla into going along. However, prosecutors said, Dakhlalla ultimately agreed to the plan.

The couple was arrested in August 2015 at a Mississippi airport while en route to elope in Istanbul. They planned to marry in Turkey and then flee together to Syria, disguising the secret trip as a honeymoon.

Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble

Also Wednesday, the U.S. Justice Department charged Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble, 20, formerly of the northern U.S. state of Minnesota with providing and conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State.

Roble is alleged to have used proceeds from a legal settlement related to a deadly 2007 bridge collapse in Minneapolis to finance his travel to Syria two years ago.

He was identified in interviews with other alleged conspirators who have been cooperating with federal investigators, and is still believed to be fighting for Islamic State in Syria.

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