Former Elkhart woman has been charged with supporting ISIS

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The airstrike map shown by Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, as he briefs the news media on operations in Syria, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

A former Elkhart woman has been charged with supporting ISIS.

Samantha Marie Elhassani, 32, also known as Samantha Sally, is charged in a two count indictment.

She conspired to provide material support to the terrorist organization, and aided and abetted individuals, according to federal prosecutors.

The indictment alleges that from the fall of 2014 through summer of 2015, Elhassani knowingly provided support, despite knowing of their activities.

Elhassani says she was tricked into traveling to Syria where she and her four children were held in a Kurdish detention camp after her husband died while fighting for the Islamic State movement.

Her Chicago-based attorney, Thomas Durkin, called the charges “wrong-headed and cruel.” He said Elhassani is “a victim of her jihadist husband (who) should be receiving treatment rather than incarceration” and that she should not be separated from her children.

Elhassani remains in federal custody, said Ryan Holmes, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Hammond.

Elhassani told the BBC and PBS in April that during a 2015 vacation in Turkey, her Moroccan husband tricked her into traveling with their children to Syria, where he became an IS militant and died fighting. She and the children ended up in a Kurdish detention camp and were transferred to U.S. custody in July by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

The couple’s four minor children were placed in the custody of Indiana’s child welfare services.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Indianapolis Division, Merrillville Resident Agency Samantha Marie Elhassani and the Indianapolis Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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