ISIS Bride Demands 'Second Chance' To Return Home To Normal Life In U.S.
Washington, DC – The ISIS bride who left her home and burned her U.S. passport to marry a series of three ISIS fighters wants a "second chance" and her father has sued the United States to allow his daughter to come home.
Charlie Swift has said the fact that Hoda Muthana destroyed her U.S. passport doesn’t make her any less of an American citizen, NBC News reported.
However, a judge ruled Thursday that she's not a U.S. citizen at all.
Judge Reggie Walton added that if her family sends her any money, they could be charged with providing material support to terrorism.
Muthana’s family came to the United States on a diplomatic posting from Yemen in 1990, and stayed after his posting ended because of the ongoing civil war in their home country.
While the 14th Amendment guarantees U.S. citizenship to children born in the country, it does not apply to the children born of diplomats because they are not considered to be under the jurisdiction of the United States.
Her father’s lawsuit claims that his daughter was born months after his diplomatic posting ended and therefore, she should be considered a citizen.
Muthana, 24, who ran away from her parents’ Alabama home four years ago to become an ISIS bride, told NBC News that its “hard to get up in the morning” and she’s “risking my life doing these types of interviews.”
She claimed she’s worried about the health of herself and her child.
“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,'' Muthana told NBC News.
“Anyone that believes in God believes that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were,” she said.
The ISIS bride from Alabama told ABC News that she became radicalized by a group of ISIS supporters on Twitter in response to overly strict Muslim parents who wouldn’t let her have a more Americanized life.
Muthana joined the terrorist organization and began spreading hate online and calling for attacks on American citizens.
"Americans wake up. ... Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood. ... Veterans, patriots,” she tweeted on Memorial Day weekend before she left University of Alabama – Birmingham to join ISIS.
Muthana said that when ISIS announced the caliphate, she and other members of the online community she’d joined "interpreted ourselves that it was obligatory upon us to go," ABC News reported.
She said she didn’t think of the consequences before she began her trip to Syria.
“I don’t know, I thought I was doing things correctly for the sake of God,” Muthana told the Guardian. “And when I came here and saw everything with my own eyes I realized I’ve made a big mistake.”
Muthana told ABC News she was put into a house with 200 other people and told the only way she could leave was to marry an ISIS fighter.
She said she was given a list of people and told to choose a husband.
Her first husband was an Australian ISIS fighter and he was killed three months after they got married, according to ABC News.
Her second husband was Tunisian, and he was killed a year later. In between, she gave birth to their little boy. The child is now 18 months old.
"Everyone blames the struggles of the things that go on in a war zone that it's a test from God basically," Muthana told ABC News.
She said she was ashamed of her anti-American tweets when they became public.
"I was still at the peak of being brainwashed I guess and I had people all around me that were just widowed so we were very angry ... because we were all just young girls married for the first time - most of us it was our first relationships - and then he just suddenly died," Muthana said. "I can't even believe I thought of that."
She said that when she became pregnant, two years after she arrived in the Middle East, she started to worry about her baby’s future, and she asked about getting out.
Muthana said that “everyone was starving” and there was no food available to buy.
She said she knew it was time to go when the only thing she had to feed her baby was grass from the yard that she fried.
Muthana said her husband and friends were shocked about her change of heart, ABC News reported.
“The more I gained knowledge, I knew that it wasn't correct. ... We were just at the beginning of seeking knowledge once we did come to ISIS so we had just young people not knowing much about their religion, thinking they knew everything really, and we interpreted everything very wrong," she said.
Muthana’s father told ABC News that he had no clue his daughter had been sucked into ISIS via social media until after she was gone.
He said he knew she’d become more religious and was proud of her for that.
“I never thought in my life that it would happen to us, to me, to my family, but it happened," her father said. "It could happen to any other family."
Muthana told ABC News she doesn’t know where her third husband is.
She surrendered to Kurdish authorities and became one of 1,500 women and children in Syrian refugee camps.
Once there, Muthana reached out to her family and said she wanted to come home.
She is believed to be the only American in the refugee camp, ABC News reported.
But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called the ISIS bride from Alabama “a terrorist” and said she is not a U.S. citizen, and so will not be re-admitted to the United States, NBC News reported.
“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“There are now over 800 foreign terrorist fighters that are being held in Syria today. She is just one of them. She’s a terrorist. She’s not a U.S. citizen. She ought not return to this country,” he told ABC News.
Muthana’s attorney disagrees because he says, at some point, she was issued an American passport, NBC News reported.
“If you’re issued a passport you’re a citizen,” Swift said. “The only way citizenship can be revoked is by clear evidence in a proceeding."
“That has not happened. A tweet is not a proceeding," he added.