An American-born ISIS bride who has been trying to return to America spoke in an interview from a Syrian refugee camp on why she should be let back in.
In 2014, Muthana took money her parents gave her for college tuition in Alabama and jumped on a plane to Turkey, from where she was taken to Syria. She was 19 years old at the time.
“I just want to go back home really. … I want my son to see my family. I want him to be safe. I’m still in Syria. It’s not safe. No matter what my government tells me,” Muthana added, also accompanied by the same smile and laughter that seemed out of place with the gravity of the discussion.
Muthana has been pushing to return to the United States since February, when ISIS was on the verge of losing all its occupied territory. The ISIS caliphate that terrorized large swathes of Iraq and Syria was defeated last month. The terrorist group first declared its caliphate in 2014, according to CNN.
While with ISIS, Muthana spewed pro-jihadi hate on Twitter, including the following tweet:
Doesn’t look like their is any kindness involved killer pic.twitter.com/bq48l8v53o
— Bob Baldwin (@BobRbaldwin13) April 1, 2019
“Americans wake up! Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades..go on drive by’s + spill all of their blood or rent a big truck n drive all over them. Kill them,” in a tweet that has since been removed from Twitter.
Muthana is trying to build a case to come back to the United States, where she was born and grew up, even after the U.S. president and Secretary of State have both said she cannot return.
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
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” President Trump tweeted on Feb. 20.
Because her father was a Yemeni diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said she is not actually a U.S. citizen. The legal case Muthana’s lawyer is fighting in court hinges on whether or not her father was still considered a diplomat at the time of Muthana’s birth, CNN reported.
“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria,” Pompeo said in a statement issued via the State Department.
“I didn’t hate America. I didn’t hate anything. I just thought it was obligatory for me. When I started practicing I was very scared of the concept of hellfire,” she continued, explaining that she thought she needed to join ISIS out of religious obligation.
“We are the women of the Islamic State”, they chant, as they attack our camera. pic.twitter.com/cR5CbzUBdm
— Quentin Sommerville (@sommervilletv) March 10, 2019
Muthana also acknowledged how her case might look to Americans.
“Before I came I’ve never done any crime, and I’m sure I’m not going to be doing any crimes in the future, and I know I’ve come to Syria and look like I supported basically the worst terror group in probably history.”
Muthana married three different ISIS fighters during her time in Syria. All of them are now dead. She has a 19-month-old son by one of them, according o Fox News.
Her family lawyer, Charles Swift, is trying to get the young woman back by proving she is a U.S. citizen. Muthana was issued a U.S. passport twice, which prosecutors believe were issued in error. In 2016, the State Department sent her a letter that her passport had been revoked, CNN reported.
“Muthana is not and has never been a U.S. citizen, and her son likewise is not a U.S. citizen. Settled law applied to the relevant events clearly demonstrates that Plaintiff enjoyed diplomatic-agent-level-immunity until February 6, 1995—after Muthana’s birth,” wrote prosecutors in court documents obtained by CNN.