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American Woman Sentenced for Smuggling Cash, Gold to Prominent Islamic Terrorists

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An Indiana woman was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to financially supporting ISIS, the Department of Justice announced Monday.

Samantha Marie Elhassani, formerly Samantha Sally, was sentenced to 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release, according to a Justice Department news release.

Elhassani reportedly smuggled tens of thousands of dollars worth of cash and gold from the U.S. to support the Islamic State.

“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,” national security official John Demers said.

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“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,” Demers added.

Elhassani’s husband and brother-in-law discussed traveling to Syria to join ISIS in November 2014, according to the Justice Department.

She helped the men by transporting over $30,000 in cash and gold to a safe deposit box in China so that the men could financially support ISIS.

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Elhassani took her 7-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter through Istanbul, Turkey, to an ISIS-controlled area of Syria around June 2015.

She acquired rifle scopes, binoculars and other tactical gear in Hong Kong before their trip to Syria.

“Adding to her betrayal, Ms. Elhassani willfully chose to put her young children’s lives at risk through her selfish actions, exposing them to an atmosphere of violence and hatred,” FBI official Paul Keenan said.

“She knew exactly what she was doing and why. She was an active participant in this heinous activity and is now facing the consequences,” Keenan added.

Elhassani and her children were taken into U.S. law enforcement custody from the Syrian Democratic Forces in July 2018.

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