American woman pleads guilty to giving financial support to ISIS
Former Indiana resident Samantha Elhassani pleaded guilty Monday to providing financial support to ISIS.
Elhassani, 33, was indicted in August 2018 on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and aiding and abetting others to provide material support to terrorists. However, in Monday’s plea deal, Elhassani pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of financing terrorism.
As a condition of the plea deal, the prior charges were dropped.
Before accepting the plea agreement, Elhassani had claimed she was tricked into joining ISIS by her husband, Moussa Elhassani, who claimed they would be moving to his native Morocco, but instead took his family to Syria where they joined ISIS. Her husband, who was an ISIS sniper, was killed by a drone strike in 2017.
However, Elhassani admits in the plea agreement that she was informed by her husband and his brother that they planned to travel to Syria and join ISIS. Elhassani claims she made three trips to Hong Kong to deposit more than $30,000 in cash and gold on behalf of her husband and brother-in-law to purchase tactical gear.
In July 2018, Elhassani was transferred from the custody of Syrian Democratic Forces to U.S. law enforcement. Her four U.S. citizen children have been placed in the care of the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Elhassani’s sentencing is scheduled for March 5, 2020, according to court documents. The maximum sentence Elhassani faces is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Before moving, Elhassani and her late husband worked at a packaging company in Elkhart.
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