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Indiana woman faces 2 counts of supporting ISIS with money, tactical gear

Judge's gavel in a courtroom, stack of law books. (wp paarz/Flickr)
August 28, 2018

On August 22, an Indiana woman was charged with providing material to support ISIS and aiding and abetting other individuals to do the same.

32-year-old Samantha Marie Elhassani — also known as Samantha Sally — received a two-count indictment alleging that she provided material support and resources to ISIS knowing that the organization was a designated terrorist organization that engages in terrorist activities, according to the Department of Justice.

The material support was said to take place from the fall of 2014 through the summer of 2015. She also is charged with aiding and abetting two individuals who represented themselves as ISIS personnel. The statement also says that she procured tactical gear and provided funds to support the individuals.

Charges against Elhassani were announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II for the Northern District of Indiana, and Special Agent in Charge Grant Mendenhall of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division.

Elhassani initially claimed that her husband, a Moroccan national, tricked her into traveling to Raqqa, Syria, in 2015, with their children. Her husband was killed while fighting for ISIS, and Kurdish forces took Elhassani and the children into custody.

In July of 2018, Elhassani was transferred from the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to U.S. law enforcement and charged with making false statements to the FBI in the Northern District of Indiana.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Indianapolis Division and the Indianapolis Joint Terrorism Task Force and being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

“My office is committed to aggressively pursuing and prosecuting those who support designated terrorist organizations such as ISIS. This indictment is an example of that commitment. The indictment alleges that Elhassani traveled abroad and provided funds and supplies for use by two ISIS fighters. The seriousness of the charges reflects the gravity of Elhassani’s alleged conduct,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch said in a statement reported by Indiana 105.