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US citizens extradited from Syria to face charges of supporting ISIS, lying to FBI

Justice scale and flag. (St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office/WikiCommons)
July 26, 2018

Two U.S. citizens were recently extradited from the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to U.S. law enforcement and arrived Tuesday in Indiana, where they each face separate, unrelated charges of federal violations.

Ibraheem Izzy Musaibli was transported to face charges in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, Michigan, for providing material support to ISIS.

Samantha Elhassani, known as Samantha Sally, has been charged in the Northern District of Indiana. She is a mother who lived in ISIS territory and is charged with making false statements to the FBI.

Elhassani, 32, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Elhassani is charged with making false statements to the FBI and will have her initial hearing at the Hammond Federal Courthouse at a later date.

Public court records did not specify what the lies were about or where specifically they occurred, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Elhassani will remain in custody until her trial, which prosecutors expect to last about two weeks.

A trial date had not been scheduled yet.

Elhassani was accompanied by her four minor U.S. citizen children, Frontline reported.

The children are currently in the care of Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), according to the Justice Department.

Indiana DCS will make any necessary determinations regarding the children’s custody, safety and well-being.

Elhassani lived with her husband and children in ISIS’ Syrian capital for more than two years.

Elhassani had been living in a Kurdish detention camp with her four children, who are also U.S. citizens, after fleeing Raqqa in late 2017.

When interviewed by Frontline and the BBC in March, Elhassani said her husband Moussa, a Moroccan national, tricked her into traveling to Raqqa.

She claimed that Moussa took the family on vacation to Turkey in 2015 and forced them over the Syrian border.

After Moussa was killed fighting for ISIS, she fled to Raqqa with her children but was apprehended by Kurdish authorities and detained in a camp with others who fled the Islamic State.

Elhassani was waiting to hear if she’d be able to return to the U.S. but said she was worried about returning to the United States and losing custody of her children.