US bars Isis woman Hoda Muthana from return
Family slams US president’s ‘dangerous’ decision
Donald Trump says a woman who left the United States to become a propagandist for Islamic State (Isis) will not be allowed to return.
Writing on Twitter, the US president said he had ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to keep Hoda Muthana, who grew up in Alabama and travelled to Syria to join Isis in November 2014, out of the country.
Pompeo had earlier announced that the 24-year-old, currently detained in a Kurdish refugee camp, was not a US citizen and would not be admitted, reports the BBC.
Muthana’s family and her lawyer maintain that she has US citizenship, describing Trump’s announcement as ”very dangerous”.
A representative of the family tweeted a photograph of Muthana’s birth certificate, stating: ”Hoda Muthana had a valid US passport and is a citizen.” The Guardian says that Trump’s decision could “set precedent and face legal challenges as it is generally extremely difficult to lose US citizenship”.
During her years in Syria, Muthana married three fighters and called for the killing of Americans, but in a series of interviews and statements this week she has expressed remorse.
In a handwritten statement to CNN, she said: ”When I left to Syria I was a naive, angry, and arrogant young woman. To say that I regret my past words, any pain that I caused my family and any concerns I would cause my country would be hard for me to really express properly.”
She told The Guardian she had been “brainwashed”, adding: “I look back now and I think I was very arrogant.”
Trump’s refusal to repatriate Muthana comes just days after he criticised European nations for not taking back their own captured citizens. UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked the British citizenship of Shamima Begum, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria at the age of 15.