ELKHART, Ind.–A woman from Elkhart has been sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison for providing money to ISIS. Smantha Marie Elhassani, a.k.a. Samantha Sally, 35, will be on probation for three years when she gets out of prison.
In 2014, Elhassani’s husband and his brother told her that they wanted to travel to Syria and join ISIS. Federal prosecutors say she helped them by taking gold and cash from the U.S., to Hong Kong and depositing them in a safe deposit boxes.
On her final trip to Hong Kong, she traded for tactical gear, including rifle scopes and image stabilizing binoculars. She and her children then went to Turkey and Syria.
The feds said she did not declare any of the gold at customs, and had disguised it as jewelry by melting it down.
Elhassani was caught in 208, and returned to the United States by Syrian authorities.
“Once again, the Justice Department has held accountable an individual who turned her back on her country to support a terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “As Elhassani admitted, she made multiple trips to Hong Kong to smuggle tens of thousands in cash and gold, knowing that the funds would be used to support ISIS in Syria. We repatriated Elhassani from Syria because every nation is responsible for holding its citizens accountable and addressing the future threat they may pose. We will not stop.”
“Samantha Elhassani was sentenced today for providing financial support to individuals who desired to support ISIS, a terrorist organization that has committed acts of violence against Americans,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II for the Northern District of Indiana. “She traveled with her husband and brother-in-law to Syria, both of whom became ISIS fighters, putting the lives of her children at risk. My office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting those like Elhassani who provide support to terrorist organizations. ”