President Donald Trump said Wednesday that an Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State will not be allowed back into the United States.
Hoda Muthana, 24, left her home in Alabama in 2014 to marry an Islamic State fighter in Syria. She now lives with her young son in a Syrian refugee camp.
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Trump tweeted early Wednesday evening.
In an interview with The Guardian, published Sunday, Muthana said she regrets her decision to join the Islamic State and is seeking to return to the United States.
“I look back now and I think I was very arrogant. Now I’m worried about my son’s future,” she told the newspaper, describing herself as having been “brainwashed.”
Muthana’s citizenship status remains unclear. Earlier Wednesday, Pompeo said in a statement that she “is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States.”
“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. We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria,” he said.
But Muthana’s Tampa, Florida-based attorney, Hassan Shibly, responded by tweeting a photo of his client’s birth certificate, which shows that Muthana was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1994.
Shibly said Muthana was born “months after her father informed the US Government he was no longer a diplomat.” He maintained that Muthana is a U.S. citizen and accused the Trump administration of attempting to “wrongfully strip citizens of their citizenship.”
In a separate tweet responding to Trump, Shibly said the United States is “a nation of laws and we must hold everyone accountable to them.”
“Hoda is asking to be accountable to our laws and legal system and you are essentially giving a free pass,” he said.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Felicia Sonmez ·