- The State Department said on Wednesday that it had barred a so-called ISIS bride named Hoda Muthana from returning to the United States.
- A lawyer for Muthana, 24, said she was born in the US in 1994. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Muthana is not a US citizen and will not be admitted into the United States.
- After leaving her home in Alabama in 2014 to join the terrorist group ISIS in Syria, Muthana became an outspoken advocate for violence against Americans, calling for bloody attacks on US soil.
- She said she later became disillusioned and deserted the terrorist group, which is being exterminated across the Middle East.
The State Department announced Wednesday that Hoda Muthana, who left Alabama in 2014 to join ISIS but said she recently deserted the terrorist group and has begged to return to the US, is not a US citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that Muthana “does not have any legal basis, no valid US passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.” The decision to bar Muthana from the country was directed by President Donald Trump.
I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
An attorney for Muthana, Hassan Shibly, said she was born in New Jersey in 1994. In a statement to ABC News, Shibly said, “The Trump administration continues its attempts to wrongfully strip citizens of their citizenship.”
Muthana’s citizenship status before she left to join ISIS remains unclear. Shibly told ABC News that Muthana was born to a Yemeni diplomat, meaning she was not automatically granted citizenship by birth, though she could have applied for citizenship.
She has been seen in photos with a US passport, something only US citizens can legally obtain. Her family reportedly insists she is a US citizen.
“Hoda Muthana was not born a US citizen and she has never been a US citizen,” a State Department spokesperson told CNN. “Muthana’s citizenship has not been revoked because she was never a US citizen.”
Muthana went to Syria in November 2014, one year after graduating from high school, to join the Islamic State. She married three ISIS fighters, gave birth to a child, and became an outspoken advocate online of violent extremism.
In a tweet from March 2015, she urged ISIS fighters to drive trucks into crowds, encouraging terrorists to spill blood on US soil.
“Go on drive bys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them,” she tweeted. “Veterans, Patriots, Memorial, etc day … Kill them.”
She said she deserted the terrorist group, now on its last legs in Syria, six weeks ago. She was recently picked up by Kurdish forces and has since begged for forgiveness and permission to return to the US.
She told The Guardian she was “brainwashed,” saying that life with ISIS was not as she had envisioned.
“I’m really traumatized by my experience,” she said. “We starved and we literally ate grass.”
“Please forgive me for being so ignorant,” she told the British newspaper, adding: “I believe that America gives second chances. I want to return and I’ll never come back to the Middle East.”
While her lawyer says, according to USA Today, she wants to return to the US to face justice and “pay any debts she has to society,” Muthana has told reporters that she thinks the best punishment is therapy, not jail time, ABC News reported.
The UK on Tuesday said it would revoke the citizenship of Shamima Begum, who left her London home in 2015 to join ISIS in Syria.