Alabama “ISIS Bride” Hoda Muthana, who left her Hoover family in 2014 to the Islamic State in Syria, is featured in a new documentary in which she explains why she joined ISIS and why she now wants to come home.
“When you are brainwashed, you don’t realize it until you snap out of it. I took everything too fast and too deep,” Muthana, now 26, told Spanish filmmaker Alba Sotorra Clua in the new documentary ‘The Return: Life After ISIS.’
Here’s a clip of the documentary:
The documentary is available to watch through Thursday at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York, according to a report by People magazine.
Muthana was 20 when she abandoned her family and fled to Syria, a year after she graduated from Hoover High School. She later studied business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Her sister, 29-year-old Arwa Muthana, was arrested in April in New Jersey. Arwa and her husband were prepared to board a cargo ship to go and fight for the terrorist group, authorities said.
Arwa and husband James Bradley, a 20-year-old Bronx man also known as Abdullah, are charged with attempting and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
The Muthana family still lives in Hoover.
Hoda Muthana, who comes from a Muslim family that does not espouse extreme views, developed a jihadist interpretation of Islam from online readings.
She tricked her family into letting her go to Atlanta for a school field trip, instead hopping on a plane to Turkey and then to Syria to meet with ISIS.
Less than a month after arriving in Syria, she married Suhan Abdul Rahman, an Australian jihadist, who died only a few months later — allegedly during a Jordanian air strikes during a battle.
She went on to marry at least two other times, according to reports, including her second marriage to a Tunisian fighter with whom she had her son, Adam. Her second husband was killed in Mosul and she went on to marry a Syrian man, the Guardian reports.
On social media, she celebrated the burning of her U.S. passport and shared thousands of incendiary tweets under the name @UmmJihad, including writing that “America desrves (sic) everything it has coming to it, by Allah we will terrorise (sic) YOU! Until you submit to the Shariah” and urging others to attack holiday parades.
“Spill all of their blood,” she wrote, according to People,”or rent a big truck n drive over them. Kill them.”
She has repeatedly tried to return to the U.S. with her young son, but a federal judge ruled in 2019 that the government does not recognize her as a citizen of the U.S., even though she was born in the U.S.
Muthana has said the decision to leave her family led to “this horrible way of life that I really regret for the rest of my life and that I wish I could just erase.”
Muthana is reportedly at Roj Camp in Syria where she “has been in limbo since surrendering to the Kurds in early 2019 — sleeping in a tent with a dirt floor, no phone, no money and barely what she needs to care for her 4-year-old son.”
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