Dakhlalla & Young plead guilty and are held in Mississippi jail

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As evidenced by the recent shootings in San Bernardino and Paris, the war against ISIS is not isolated to only the Middle East, but has violent implications in Western countries as well. This is what makes combating ISIS so difficult; in other wars, the fight would be against a specific country or region, with less abstract goals. ISIS does have a base of operations in Iraq and Syria, but is also a general terrorist philosophy with members hiding in other countries.

So how can we combat this? The recent arrests of Jaelyn Delshaun Young and Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla provide a good example. The FBI pegged the couple as a potential problem after seeing their Twitter accounts supporting ISIS. The FBI then did some undercover work online, posing as ISIS members in communication. After some dialogue, it was revealed that the couple planned to leave for Syria and join ISIS, discussing the skills they could provide. When they left for the flight, the FBI was there and ready to arrest them. The evidence was very damning, and the couple both pled guilty.

This is the sort of anti-terrorist tactic that deserves to get more attention in the media. The situation in the Middle East is far more difficult to unravel, as there are warring factions controlling different parts of the region, and many are not friendly to the West for various reasons. Protecting the homeland is a different matter entirely, and requires finesse rather than brute force. The FBI should be commended for this successful operation, and the many others they conduct that do not receive the same level of press.

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