An Alabama woman who traveled to Syria and became the bride of an Islamic State fighter wants to be allowed back into the United States, but President Trump won’t allow it.
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Trump wrote Wednesday on Twitter.
Muthana was 20 years old when she told her family that she was going to Turkey for a university event. She then made her way to Syria and joined ISIS, became romantically involved with multiple ISIS fighters, had a child with one of them and allegedly spent several years urging attacks on America.
Now Muthana wants to come home. The 24-year-old regrets falling in with the terrorist group that brainwashed her online, a lawyer for the family told NPR’s David Greene on Morning Edition.
“People are saying she betrayed this country, she shouldn’t be able to come back home,” Hassan Shibly said. But Muthana was a “vulnerable young woman who was brainwashed and manipulated by these criminal masterminds. They took advantage of her and used her, and she deeply, deeply resents them. She deeply regrets it.”
Muthana isn’t looking for a “free pass,” Shibly said. “She’s asking that she can come and face our legal system and pay whatever debt she may have to society and speak out to ensure other people aren’t trafficked and brainwashed and abused as she was.”
Trump has asked European countries to hold criminal proceedings for their own citizens that joined ISIS. But Pompeo said in a statement that Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the country. “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,” Pompeo said, adding: “We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria.” Read more