The former Alabama resident who moved to Syria and joined ISIS now says it’s her right to return to the U.S.
Hoda Muthana left her home and university studies in Alabama at age 19 to join the terror organization in Syria, married three times, had a child, and has now begged to return to the U.S., claiming she’s still a citizen. Now she’s demanding it.
“I know I am an American citizen and I know I have the right to come back,” she said during an interview with CBS News that aired Monday.
“I have papers. I have citizenship,” she continued. “I have no other citizenship anywhere. Even my own home country I don’t. I’ve never been there (Yemen).”
Her comments begin at approximately 0:42 in the video below:
Muthana was reportedly born in New Jersey to Yemeni parents. Her father worked as a diplomat, and the children of diplomats or foreign nationals are not automatically granted citizenship.
However, Muthana, her family, and lawyers all claim she was born months after her father’s diplomat status ended. She claims she used her U.S. passport when she traveled to Syria.
The U.S. maintains that she is not a U.S. citizen and will not be permitted to reenter the country.
“She’s a terrorist,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told USA Today. “She put American soldiers’ lives at risk. You ask the family members, those soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines all across world, who were serving, trying to take down the threat from radical Islamic terrorism. … We’ve lost American life. And this woman, this woman chose to use her life to try and kill those people.”
For years on social media, Muthana posted a slew of anti-American rhetoric and calling for the death of Americans – right in line with the ISIS ideology. A comprehensive report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) found dozens of social media posts which have since been deleted.
On Monday, a judge in U.S. federal court denied Muthana’s request to fast-track her case to decide whether or not she can return to the U.S. The judge cited too much speculation about Muthana’s circumstances abroad to warrant expediting the case.
Her legal team has argued that by renouncing ISIS, she is now in danger, and seeks immediate asylum for her safety and the safety of her son. ISIS and its supporters allegedly view her as a traitor and have called for her death.
Muthana blamed her strict upbringing and later brainwashing for pursuing ISIS.
While in Syria, she lived with ISIS fighters, underwent three marriages and had a son, who is now 18 months old. She was captured by Kurdish forces and taken to a northern Syria detention camp with some 1,500 other women and children, all of whom are unable to leave the camp.
“I ruined my life. I’ve ruined it. I ruined my son’s future, but I wouldn’t have had a son if I didn’t come. That’s the only regret I don’t have,” she told CBS. “I want to see him grow up, I want to raise him.”