For two years, Sam El Hassani of Indiana and her husband Moussa, a Moroccan national, lived in Raqqa with their four children. Moussa became a sniper for the terrorist group. Their oldest son, Mathew, appeared in an Islamic State propaganda video appearing to handle weapons.
After her husband’s death in an airstrike in 2017, El Hassani and her children escaped Raqqa, were captured by Kurdish forces and brought to a refugee camp in northern Syria where they still reside. Sam El Hassani said she is wary of returning to the U.S., where she worries her children will be taken away from her.
“Will the government try to take my kids away from me, when I have done nothing but try to protect them, when here they give them school, they give them food, they give them everything?” she said.