Court rules Alabama-born IS bride not a US citizen

Alabama-born woman who joined Islamic State group not a US citizen, court rules
2 min read
15 November, 2019
Hoda Muthana has pleaded with the US government to allow her to return to the country with her son.
The 25-year-old joined the extremist group in 2014 [Getty]
A US court has ruled that an Alabama-born woman who joined the Islamic State group is not a US citizen, leaving the woman and her son stranded in Syria.

Hoda Muthana, who left Alabama in 2014 to join IS in Syria, has plead with authorities to allow her to return to the US, repeatedly insisting that she "deeply regrets" joining the extremist group.

Despite having a US passport, the Trump administration has previously denied that Muthana is a citizen of the country.

Washington argues that Muthana's father was serving as a Yemeni diplomat at the time of her birth.

The children of US-based foreign diplomats do not enjoy citizenship by birthright.

Reggie Walton, a federal judge based in Washington, agreed with the government on Thursday, Muthana's lawyer said.

The lawyer, Christina Jump, added that she was waiting to read the written ruling and that the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America would consider further options, The Guardian reported.

Muthana's case came to prominence after President Donald Trump tweeted she was not a US citizen and would not be able to return to the country, unlike several other women who joined the group and their children.

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"The court did not base its ruling on a tweet by the president, or by any supposed proclamation made by any official," Jump said.

"United States citizenship cannot be revoked by tweet or any other form of social media, and today's ruling does not change that."

Unlike in France and the United Kingdom, it is exceptionally difficult for the US government to strip someone of their citizenship.

In an interview with NBC broadcast last week, Muthana said she "regrets every single thing" done by IS.

"Anyone that believes in God believes that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were," she said.

After joining the extremist group in 2014, Muthana married three IS fighters, all of whom died in combat.

She took part actively in IS propaganda, according to the Counter Extremism Project.

She had urged Islamist extremists in America to "go on drive-bys, and spill all of their blood."

Muthana also hailed an attack in 2015 in France against the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 people dead.

In the interview with NBC she said "it was an ideology that really was just a phase," refusing to discuss those earlier comments.

She said she is willing to face the US justice system if she is allowed to return.

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