Published: Tue, March 05, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Woman who left US to join Islamic State loses round in court

Woman who left US to join Islamic State loses round in court

She deserted the terrorist organization with her 18-month-old son in December as the caliphate crumbled, surrendering to Kurdish forces.

Judge Reggie Walton sided with the government and denied a request for expedited consideration of Muthana's case. Five years later, Muthana has now said that she regrets what she did and wants to return to the US.

Assuming the timeline is correct, her father stepped down from his post at his country's mission to the United Nations in NY two weeks before she was born. Pompeo confirmed to NBC News the administration's position that Muthana was not a citizen because of her father's diplomatic status when she was born.

Ahmed Ali Muthana said Yemen terminated his diplomatic posting before her birth but did not notify the USA government of that fact until after she was born in the U.S. The lawsuit against the government contends Muthana is an American citizen and she and her young child, who are now living at a refugee camp in Syria, should be allowed to return to the U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the young woman is not a citizen and will not be admitted to the country. After she traveled to Turkey, she was smuggled to Syria and joined the Islamic State group. She is reported to have left Alabama in 2015 to join ISIS. "In fact, she's a terrorist, and we shouldn't bring back foreign terrorists to the United States of America". Children of diplomats are not entitled to birthright citizenship because they and their parents aren't subject to USA law.

The filing also says that the US issued and re-issued an American passport to Muthana in error.


Pompeo, at the direction of President Donald Trump, issued a statement in late February arguing that Muthana "is not a USA citizen and will not be admitted into the United States".

USA officials allege the US mission to the United Nations was not notified of Ahmed Ali Muthana's departure from the Yemeni mission until after his daughter's birth, and that she was twice issued US passports in error, since her family was still covered by diplomatic immunity when she was born in 1994.

"That is insane. That is really opening us up to danger", Swift said, noting that Walton suggested the government was "grasping at straws". Pompeo declared the same day in a statement that Muthana is "not a USA citizen and will not be admitted into the United States".

"The loss of citizenship is not a punishment", Swift said, saying Americans should "think long and hard" about setting a precedent allowing the government to bar citizens from returning to the United States by asserting their dangerousness. Swift said Muthana as a result was moved to another camp for her safety.

The woman, Hoda Muthana, left the United States to join ISIS in Syria in 2014. "So she did not and could not have acquired USA citizenship at birth".

He emphasised that she would likely be prosecuted if she returns. "To the extent that there are any plausible exigencies, they are of Muthana's own creation".

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