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Press Release

Former Indiana Resident Charged With Providing And Conspiring To Provide Material Support To ISIS

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana

HAMMOND-Samantha Marie Elhassani, aka Samantha Sally, 32, formerly of Elkhart, Indiana, was charged on Aug. 22, in a two count indictment with conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated terrorist organization, and aiding and abetting individuals in providing material support to ISIS.

The charges 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. 

U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “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 travelled abroad and provided funds and supplies for use by two ISIS fighters.  The seriousness of the charges reflect the gravity of Elhassani’s alleged conduct.”

"The charges against Ms. Elhassani illustrate that actions of providing support to ISIS have serious consequences, and should serve as a reminder to American citizens that providing assistance to terrorist organizations or individuals aligned with terrorist entities will not be tolerated," said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Indianapolis Division.

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.    

The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty in court.

If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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

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Updated August 23, 2018

National Security