Indiana mom Samantha El Hassani will face a felony charge of conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS and a charge of aiding an individual to provide material support to ISIS. The initial charge against her was lying to the FBI.
El Hassani traveled to Syria with her family in 2015. She fled the country in 2017 after her husband, Moussa, was killed while fighting for ISIS.
Her son “Yusuf” was the star of an ISIS clip threatening the United States and President Donald Trump. El Hassani later claimed her son, whose real name is Matthew, was forced to appear in the video.
In a film made by PBS’ Frontline (see below), El Hassani says the family lived a normal, happy life in America. She describes Turkish-born Moussa as a loving father and good provider who, after five years became “bored” with his life. He took the family on a trip to Turkey — a trip El Hassani believed was to visit his country of birth. But, she says, Moussa surprised her and forced the family over the Syrian border to join ISIS.
“We ended up in Raqqa,” she says. “The first thing I say to him is, ‘You’re crazy and I’m leaving,’ and he said, with a big smile on his face, ‘Go ahead. You can try, but you won’t make it.’”
El Hassani says she was tortured after trying to find a smuggler to help her escape. She says her husband kept two Yazidi girls in their house as slaves and repeatedly raped them.
Frontline, together with the BBC, spent 18 months following her to make a documentary about her.
The indictment says she “knowingly conspired to provide material support and resources” to ISIS. These allegedly include funds and tactical gear.