DOJ rejects American-born ISIS bride Hoda Muthana's citizenship claims as she insists she should be allowed back into the US
- Doubling down on an earlier State Department decision, the US Department of Justice stated in a Monday court filing that ISIS bride Hoda Muthana "is not and has never been a US citizen," CNN reported.
- The decision was a response to a lawsuit brought against the US government by Muthana's father, who insists his US-born daughter is a US citizen.
- DOJ insists that Muthana's father had diplomatic status at the time of Muthana's birth, thus preventing her from obtaining US citizenship by birth, even though she was born in the US.
- Her father argues his diplomatic status ended a month before her birth.
- Muthana, 24, ran away a little over four years ago to join ISIS in Syria, where she married ISIS militants and advocated for violent attacks on Americans online. She has since said she regrets her actions and is trying to come back to the US.
Muthana, 24, ran away a little over four years ago to join the Islamic State in Syria, where she married multiple ISIS militants and became an outspoken advocate online for attacks on Americans.
As the ISIS caliphate crumbled, Muthana deserted the terrorist group with her infant son. She was later picked up by Kurdish forces, and she is currently being held in detention at a refugee camp in northern Syria.
For weeks she has been begging to return to the US, claiming that she is a US citizen. Both the Department of Justice and the Department of State have rejected this assertion.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement in late February that Muthana "is not a US citizen and will not be admitted into the United States," adding she "does not have any legal basis, no valid US passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States."
The Department of Justice's Monday statement came in response to a lawsuit Muthana's father brought against the federal government last week, insisting his daughter is a US citizen. Justice Department prosecutors argue in the filing that because her father, a Yemeni diplomat, had an active diplomatic status at the time of her birth, she did not obtain US citizenship by birth, CNN reported.
But Muthana's lawyer showed INSIDER a letter from the United Nations that he said shows Muthana's father's diplomatic status ended a month before his daughter was born in October 1994.
The earlier decision from the Department of State was apparently directed by President Donald Trump, who tweeted about it after Pompeo's statement was released. "I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!" Trump wrote.
Muthana, who insisted she made a "big stupid mistake" due to her youth, lashed out at the president in a recent interview with CBS News. Asked what she would like to say to the president, she said, "I would tell him to study the legal system, because apparently I am allowed back. I have papers. I have citizenship."
A federal judge is expected to weigh in on her fate later on Monday.
In the UK, the government faced a similar situation with teen ISIS bride Shamima Begum, who wanted to return home. Unlike Muthana, who has expressed remorse, Begum reportedly said she had no regrets. The UK stripped her of her citizenship last month, effectively banning her from the country.
Germany is also preparing to do the same to ISIS fighters who have dual citizenship, Reuters reported Monday.
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