Hoda Muthana was 19 when she left the United States and headed to Syria to join ISIS. The war in Syria is almost over and Muthana is one of the several foreign fighters who wish to come home.
Trump has said an unequivocal no to her returning to the States.
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Trump tweeted.
Muthana joined ISIS four years ago. During her time in Syria, she used social media to try and radicalise others, supported attacks on America and spread ISIS propaganda online.
Muthana is being held in a detention camp in northern Syria, run by the Kurds. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has said Muthana has no legal basis to return to the US and that she is not an American citizen and has no right to a US passport.
According to Muthana’s lawyer, Hassan Shibly, Muthana was born in New Jersey in 1994. She lived and studied in Alabama before making her way to Syria to join IS. She is alleged to have been married three times, each husband having died in the Syrian war.
“We cannot get to a point where we simply strip citizenship from those who break the law,” Shibly said. “That’s not what America is about. We have one of the greatest legal systems in the world, and we have to abide by it.”
Hoda Muthana has an 18 month-old baby and her lawyer said she would like to return “home” with her baby. She has asked for passage back to the US and has said she would face the “due process” of the law.
It is thought that the American government has not reached out to Muthana and is yet to meet her or make any attempt to engage with her. Trump has been vocal, saying he does not want Hoda Muthana back in the country, to radicalize others and to spread propaganda.
Muthana is interred in the camp, unable to leave unless the US government asks for her to be released. Trump and Pompeo have both said the best solution for all 1500 or so foreign IS fighters would be to return to their countries of origin to face justice, yet neither seems willing to bring Muthana home.