Homeland Security

Indiana ISIS Bride Charged With Terror Support

An Indiana woman who traveled with her husband to live in the Islamic State capital of Raqqa, Syria was charged last week by the Justice Department for material support for terrorism.

The indictment claims Samantha Elhassani acquired tactical gear for known ISIS terrorists and provided other related support for the terror groups.

As I reported here at PJ Media, her 10-year-old son was featured in an ISIS propaganda video that threatened President Donald Trump and warned of domestic terror attacks. The video also showed a young Yazidi boy from Iraq who was held hostage by her family.

Elhassani’s attorney claims she was tricked by her husband to moving to Raqqa in 2014. Her husband, Moussa Elhassani, was reportedly killed in a drone strike last year.

Last Thursday, the Justice Department announced the material terror support charges against Elhassani:

The indictment alleges that from the fall of 2014 through summer of 2015, Elhassani provided material support and resources to ISIS knowing that the organization was a designated terrorist organization, and knowing that the organization has engaged in and was engaging in terrorist activity and terrorism. Elhassani, is also charged with aiding and abetting two individuals in providing themselves as personnel to ISIS.

Under both charges she is alleged to have procured tactical gear and provided funds to support individual A and B in providing themselves as personnel for ISIS. 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.

Elhassani fled Raqqa during the fall of the city to U.S.-backed troops and was captured and held by the Syrian Democratic Forces. She and her children were transferred to U.S. custody and returned last month. Her children, including two who were born in Syria, were placed with foster families.

Just over a year ago, her oldest son Matthew appeared in an ISIS propaganda video from inside Raqqa:

In the video, Matthew threatened President Trump and warned of terror attacks directed at the allies:

My message to Trump, the puppet of the Jews, Allah promises victory and promised you defeat. This battle is not going to end in Raqqa or Mosul. It’s going to end in your lands. By the will of Allah we will have victory. So get ready for the fighting has just begun.

The video concluded with Matthew loading AK-47 magazines and looking down the scope of a sniper rifle. Mousa Elhassani was reportedly an ISIS sniper. Matthew is the son of Samantha’s first husband, a U.S. Army soldier who served in Iraq.

Also in the ISIS propaganda video was young Yezidi child, Ayham Azad, who was abducted by ISIS in Iraq and held captive by the Elhassani family in Raqqa:

Also held captive by the Elhassani family was a 14-year-old Yezidi girl, who was repeatedly raped by Mousa Elhassani.

Earlier this year, Samantha Elhassani told a BBC news crew interviewing her after her capture that she wanted to continue to live in Syria:

Her attorney says she was tricked into going to Syria, and that she is the “victim of her jihadist husband.” The details of last week’s indictment indicate she may not have been as much of a victim as she and her attorney claim.

There have been several ISIS-related cases in Indiana.

As I reported here in May 2015, one Indianapolis grandmother who openly supports ISIS has been living in Germany and attracted the attention of media there:

In March 2015, I reported on the arrest of an accused Bosnian ISIS operative in Plainfield, Indiana, right outside Indianapolis.

Eighteen-year-old Akram Musleh of Brownsburg, Indiana, was arrested in June 2016 for attempting to leave the U.S. to join ISIS in Syria.

And just last week, Marlon Hicks of Crown Point, Indiana, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for a plot to conduct an attack just weeks after the Pulse nightclub terror attack in Orlando that killed 49. Hicks had provided information on explosives to a FBI informant who he believed was an ISIS supporter.