A mother from Elkhart, Indiana, is facing federal charges of providing support to the Islamic State (ISIS).
The Department of Justice indicted Samantha Marie Elhassani on charges of “providing material support” to a terror group, when she followed her husband, Moussaka Elhassani, to Syria, where he became a sniper for ISIS. He was killed in a drone strike in 2017.
She claims she was forced to provide support.
If convicted, a judge will determine how much time she could spend behind bars.
The family also took their four children along, and her ten-year old son even appeared in a propaganda video for ISIS, where he seen being trained to use a sniper rifle. A clip from the video is included below.
It is the second indictment the Justice Department has won against Mrs. Elhassani, who was accused in July of lying to FBI agents in her home state of Indiana.
In the most recent counts, prosecutors say Mrs. Elhassani provided material support and resources to the Islamic State, a designated terrorist organization. She is also charged with aiding and abetting to individuals who had provided themselves as personnel to the Islamic State.
The indictment alleges that she purchased tactical gear and provided funds to support ISIS sympathizers only identified as individuals A and B.
Syrian Democratic Forces arrested Mrs. Elhassani and transferred her to U.S. custody in July. She was captured with her four minor children, who are U.S. citizens. They were most recently in the care of the Indiana Department of Child Services, according to a July press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana.
Elhassani maintains that she had no idea her family was going to join ISIS, and caims her husband duped them while on a trip to Turkey.
She also claims she was forced to help support ISIS in an effort to keep her family together.
PBS’ Frontline, in partnership with the BBC, interviewed Elhassani recently.
An exact court date is not yet known.
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