Elkhart woman accused of helping ISIS asking for pre-trial release

NOW: Elkhart woman accused of helping ISIS asking for pre-trial release

ELKHART, Ind. --- An Elkhart woman accused of assisting an international terrorist organization is asked a judge to be temporarily released from jail as she awaits her trial.

Samantha El-Hassani  is currently being held at a jail in Porter County for charges of providing and conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Her attorneys filed a motion for pre-trial release and said she is in desperate need of mental health treatment.

El-Hassani’s motion said she is unable to receive mental health treatment at the Porter County Jail and that her condition has continued to deteriorate.

“I didn’t have a choice,” El-Hassani told CNN in April. “It was extremely violent.”

Her attorneys said El-Hassani is not a muslim or a supporter of ISIS, but was compelled ‘psychologically and physically to follow her husband’s and his brother’s absurd ideas.’ However, the U.S. Department of Justice said El-Hassani took her family and crossed the border into ISIS-controlled territory, sometime in between April and July 2015.

The DOJ is requesting a judge to deny the motion for pre-trial release because, according to the government, she is a flight risk and a danger to the community. The Department of Justice said she bought tickets to Morroco, Istanbul, Hong Kong, and many other destinations during the time in question.

The government described her behavior as ‘reckless and selfish.’ The DOJ said she endangered the lives of her children for a ‘savage foreign terrorist organization.’

The Department of Justice said if the true goal of El-Hassani’s release is to ensure adequate mental health treatment, she should go to the U.S. Marshal’s Office with the issue. A judge will decide on December 20 if El-Hassani is granted temporary release as she awaits her trial set for 2020.





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