Cudahy mom accused of supporting ISIS detained until outcome of trial

Posted at 12:56 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 19:05:30-04

MILWAUKEE -- A federal judge Friday morning ruled the Cudahy woman accused of aiding the ISIS terror group through social media posts will remain detained. 

45-year old Waheba Issa Dais was arrested earlier this week. 

She’s accused of “attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization,” according to a federal, criminal complaint. 

Dais appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Joseph on Friday for a roughly 45-minute detention hearing. 

At an initial appearance earlier this week, Joseph ordered that Dais be detained for three days. 

On Friday, federal prosecutor Gregory Haanstad requested that Joseph order Dais to remain in federal custody. 

He said Dais is both a flight risk and a danger to the community. 

Haanstad said her use of hacked social media accounts to post material to support and recruit for ISIS amounted to “a virtual library with instructions on how to conduct attacks.” 

“This was a crime of violence,” Haanstad told the court. 

He said Dais had been living with five of her seven children at a home in Cudahy when she’d been arrested.

Haanstad said the conditions of the home were “deplorable,” and that there was a shortage of both food and finances.  

He said an ex-husband told investigators that “he was aware Ms. Dais was, among other things, showing beheading videos to her 5-year old son.” 

Dais’ attorney, John Campion, said three of the five children who reside at the Cudahy home are underage. The defense attorney said he would take Dais’ ex-husband’s word with “a grain of salt.” 

Campion said Dais has two adult children from a previous marriage, one of whom spoke with investigators, and did not mention the woman showing such videos to her younger children. 

Campion said Dais has a previous history of depression and bipolar disorder, and at times fails to take prescribed medications. 

More recently, he said a “common law husband” abandoned Dais and the five children who live at the Cudahy home about one year ago. 

Campion said Dais is not currently working and was relying on financial assistance from a sibling. He said she does not have a car. 

He said her use of the hacked social media accounts indicated she was lonely and “seeking social contacts, seeking perhaps a romantic relationship.” 

According to Campion, many of the messages Dais posted onto the hacked accounts were “largely copy-and-pasted from other sites online.” 

He told Joseph Dais is not a flight risk because of her familial ties to the area. He said she is a legal resident of the United States and has been in the country since 1992. 

Campion also disagreed with Haanstad’s assertion that Dais is a danger to the community. 

“What we don’t appear to see in the criminal complaint is any actual acts the government has been able to help tie (Dais) to,” Campion said. 

The prosecutor countered that Dais had been providing dangerous information to dangerous people online. He said FBI investigators translated many of the conversations from their original Arabic. 

“These were people she knew to be ISIS supporters,” Haanstad said. 

Eventually, Joseph said the state had met its burden of proof. Although she noted the topic of Dais’ detention could be re-visited later in the case. 

“Releasing you would pose a danger to the community,” Joseph told Dais. 

Campion said Dais had not been given any information regarding where her underage children are now living. He said Child Protective Services had only told them they are “in safe homes.”