U.S. blocks ISIS bride from returning
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 2/21/19, 11:37 am
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he ordered the State Department to bar an Alabama woman who joined Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria from returning to the United States. Hoda Muthana, 24, told The Guardian last week at a refugee camp in northern Syria that she was brainwashed online and regrets joining the group. Muthana left for Syria in 2014, married several ISIS fighters, and now has an 18-month-old son. “I thought I was doing things correctly for the sake of God,” she said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday that Muthana has no claim to U.S. citizenship. “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,” he said. Her lawyer, Hassan Shibly, said the Trump administration argues that she didn’t qualify for citizenship at birth because her father was a Yemeni diplomat. But the lawyer said Muthana’s father did not have diplomatic status at the time of her birth in Hackensack, N.J., and she had a valid U.S. passport before she joined ISIS. Muthana’s case highlights the dilemma nations face when citizens leave to support extremist groups.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.