WASHINGTON – An Alabama woman who left the country to join ISIS in Syria will not be allowed back in the country.
The US State Department released a statement Wednesday saying Hoda Muthana is no longer a US citizen.
Washington Correspondent Drew Petrimoulx reports Muthana’s lawyer says she was brainwashed into joining the terrorist group. He says she wants to return home to advocate against extremism.
Hoda Muthana grew up in Hoover, Alabama. Her family was active in the local mosque.
But the family lawyer Hassan Shibly says Muthana’s life was sheltered.
“Her mom didn’t really let her have a lot of friends and I think she tried to find belonging online,” says Hassan Shibly.
And it was online that Shibly says Muthana became radicalized.
“Its no different from how sex traffickers, and gangs and violent criminals really prey on vulnerable young youth and recruit them,” says Shibly.
In 2014 at age 20, she used college tuition money to leave her family and country to join ISIS in Syria.
Five years later Muthana sits in a Squalid Syrian Refugee Camp with her 18-month-old son.
Shibly is trying to bring them back to America.
But this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo struck a major blow to that effort saying Muthana…
“Is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States.”
The state department says Muthana’s father was a foreign diplomat from Yemen when she was born in the US, exempting her from automatic citizenship. Muthana’s family says the diplomatic service ended before she was born.
But they don’t dispute Muthana’s previous extremism.
On Twitter she had promised to burn her passport and called for terrorist attacks on Americans.
Don Bramer is a former Naval Intelligence Officer.
“She completely committed treason and conspiracy,” says Don Bramer. “People like to play the victim, especially when you’re trying to ask for forgiveness.”
“She’s not asking for a get out of jail free card. She has acknowledged that she has made horrible mistakes,” says Shibly.
Shibly says Muthana has changed her beliefs and now wants to be an advocate against extreme ideology. And he says she’s ready to submit herself to the American justice system, even if that means facing prison.