A federal judge ruled Thursday that an Alabama-born ISIS bride did not have valid U.S. citizenship, undercutting a key part of her efforts to return to the U.S. from Syria.
Hoda Muthana, 25, is the daughter of former Yemeni ambassador to the United Nations, Ahmed Ali Muthana. According to the National Review, Judge Reggie Walton ruled that because Hoda was born while her father only had diplomatic status in the U.S., his current U.S. citizenship does not extend to her.
The ruling defeated a citizenship claim that has been central to the ISIS brides bid to return to the U.S. after escaping ISIS and turning herself in to a Kurdish refugee camp in 2018. U.S. law prevents the children of foreign diplomats from obtaining birthright citizenship even after being born on American soil.
Judge Walton reportedly rejected arguments Muthana’s family lawyers argued that Ahmed Ali’s diplomatic status had actually expired two months before Hoda’s birth. They hoped to argue that without the valid diplomatic status, there would be no valid law barring birthright citizenship.
Walton also ruled Ahmed Ali could not extend financial aid to his daughter while she remains in Syria.
Muthana joined ISIS in 2014. In a 2015 Twitter message she advised Americans to violent attack one another and kill themselves.
“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 drivebys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them,” Muthana’s 2015 tweet read. “Veterans, Patriots, Memorial, etc day … Kill them.”
In her initial bid to return home, Muthana said she was “brainwashed” into joining the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria.
“I was really young and ignorant, and I was 19 when I decided to leave. I believe that America gives second chances,” Muthana told reporters in February. “I want to return, and I’ll never come back to the Middle East. America can take my passport and I wouldn’t mind.”
Both President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been outspoken opponents of her return.
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Trump said in a February tweet.
In March she insisted she has U.S. citizenship and said she knows she has the right to come back to the U.S. Muthana also claimed to have the documents to prove her U.S. citizenship claim and said she does not hold citizenship in any other country, including Yemen.
According to National Review, Muthana now has a son and she said she want her child to be raised around her family in the U.S.
“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,” Muthana said in a March CBS interview.