An Indiana mom Samantha Elhassani pleaded guilty to one count of terror financing ahead of her scheduled January trial where she was to be charged with aiding ISIS. Meanwhile, her children are also back in the U.S.
The plea of Elhassani, 33, is the latest turn in the case which originally saw Elhassani claim that her Turkish husband tricked her into going to Syria where he joined ISIS.
Elhassani’s son “Yusuf” became famous as the star of an ISIS video threatening
the United States and President Donald Trump released in August of 2017. Elhassani later claimed her son, whose real name is Matthew, was forced to appear in the video.
Elhassani traveled to Syria with her family in 2015. She fled the country in 2017 after her husband, Moussa, was killed fighting for ISIS.
The Chicago Tribune reports that “Elhassani … has been in federal custody since July 2018 when a military cargo transport plane brought her and her children to Gary from Syria. The children were placed with the Department of Child Services.”
Indiana Mom Elhassani made waves last summer when she appeared in a film made by PBS’ Frontline. In the film, Elhassani claimed the family lived a normal, happy life in America.
In the film, she described her Turkish-born husband Moussa as a loving father and good provider who, after five years became “bored” with his life. She said he took the family on a trip to Turkey to meet his family, then forced them to cross the border into Syria to join ISIS.
However, in court this week, Elhassani told a different story, admitting that when her husband and his brother decided to join ISIS, she made three trips to Hong Kong, where she smuggled in more than $30,000 in cash, gold and precious stones between November 2014 and August 2015.
She also affirmed that she knew the cash and valuables were for use by ISIS.
To PBS, she disclosed that her husband kept two Yazidi girls in their house as slaves and repeatedly raped them.
Equally troubling is the fact that no more information is known about Elhassani’s children, who we can assume were brainwashed by their ISIS father.
U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon, who has been presiding over the case, announced that he would defer his acceptance of Elhassani’s plea until he had a pre-sentencing report.
Elhassani previously pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS, and aiding and abetting individuals in providing material support to ISIS.
Her lawyer also previously requested her release so that that she could receive “emergency” mental and emotional help, but a judge denied the request.