Elkhart, Ind. woman charged with supporting ISIS

FILE - In this June 16, 2014 file photo, demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State slogans as they carry the group's flags.

A woman formerly of Elkhart, Indiana has been charged with providing aid to ISIS, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana said Thursday.

Samantha Marie Elhassani, 32, also known as Samantha Sally, has been charged with two counts of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and helping two people join ISIS.

Elhassani is accused of proving support to ISIS from the fall of 2014 through the summer of 2015. U. S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch's Office said Elhassani procured tactical gear and provided funds and supplies to be used by two ISIS fighters.

"My office is committed to aggressively pursuing and prosecuting those who support designated terrorist organizations such as ISIS," Kirsch said in a statement. "This indictment is an example of that commitment. The indictment alleges that Elhassani travelled abroad and provided funds and supplies for use by two ISIS fighters. The seriousness of the charges reflect the gravity of Elhassani's alleged conduct."

"The charges against Ms. Elhassani illustrate that actions of providing support to ISIS have serious consequences, and should serve as a reminder to American citizens that providing assistance to terrorist organizations or individuals aligned with terrorist entities will not be tolerated," said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Indianapolis Division.

Elhassani was transferred from the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces in July of 2018 and she was subsequently charged with making false statements to the FBI.

Elhassani's attorney, Thomas Durkin, called the charges "wrong-headed and cruel" and said she's "a victim of her jihadist husband (who) should be receiving treatment rather than incarceration."

Elhassani told PBS' "Frontline" and the BBC in April that her Moroccan husband tricked her in 2015 into traveling with their four children to Syria, where he died fighting for the Islamic State.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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