A U.S.-born woman who says she now regrets having joined the Islamic State terrorist group is appealing for help to escape Syria and bring her son to America to start her life again.
The government is refusing Hoda Muthana’s plea, arguing she is not an American citizen.
Muthana was born in New Jersey and traveled to Syria in 2014 with a U.S. passport. She burnt it on arrival. “Bonfire soon, no need for these anymore, alhamdulliah [thanks be to God],” she tweeted, with a photo of her and several other women’s Western passports ready for the flames.
The government argues Muthana should never have been considered a citizen in the first place as she was the daughter of a diplomat serving for the Yemeni government at the time.
The children of foreign diplomats based in the U.S. are excluded from the right to citizenship by birthright.
In an interview with NBC News published Saturday, Muthana said she “regrets every single thing” done by Islamic State terrorists, which she joined in 2014 after embracing extremist ideology while living with her family in Alabama.
“Anyone that believes in God believes that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were,” Muthana said.
Muthana said to NBC News the refugee camps she was forced to live in after her surrender felt increasingly unsafe for her and her young child. She also claimed it was “hard to get up in the morning.”
Muthana said she would be open to facing justice for her actions if allowed to be repatriated to America. “They can watch over me 24/7, I’d be OK with that,” she said. “I want my son to be around my family, I want to go to school, I want to have a job and I want to have my own car.”
President Donald Trump has already ruled out the possibility Hoda Muthana will be allowed back in.
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Trump wrote on Twitter earlier this year:
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
As Breitbart News reported, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Muthana has no prospect of making her wish come true.
“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,” Pompeo said. “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.”
Muthana was born to a Yemeni diplomat in the United States but did not receive birthright citizenship, according to the New York Times.
Muthana married three Islamic State terrorist fighters in succession, all of whom died in combat and she took part actively in terrorist propaganda, according to the Counter Extremism Project.
She had urged jihadists in America to, “‘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.’ [sic] ” while she relentlessly pushed the terror group’s ideology and propaganda.
Muthana also hailed an attack in 2015 in France against the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 people dead.
In the interview with NBC she said “it was an ideology that really was just a phase.” She refused to discuss those earlier comments.
AFP contributed to this report