President Donald Trump has responded to reports that Hoda Muthana won’t be allowed back into the United States.
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” the president tweeted on the afternoon of Feb. 20.
Muthana, from Alabama, left the country in November 2014 to join the ISIS terrorist organization in Syria. But in recent days, she has pleaded with American officials to allow her passage back into the U.S.
I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
Hours before Trump’s tweet, Pompeo said Muthana, who is being held in a Kurdish refugee camp, isn’t an American citizen.
“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States,” Pompeo said in a statement.
Muthana, 24, went to Syria to join ISIS and eventually married three fighters. She has called for the killing of Americans on Twitter.
Hoda Muthana wants to come home after leaving to join ISIS: “I hope they excuse me because of how young and ignorant I…
But in a series of interviews in the past week, she expressed remorse over what she did.
“I know I’ve ruined my future and my sons future and I deeply, deeply regret it,” she told The Guardian. And in a letter sent to her family, she wrote, “I was a naive, angry and arrogant young woman… seeing bloodshed up close changed me,” CBS News reported.
According to ABC News, Muthana said she hopes people with sympathize with her.
“I hope they excuse me because of how young and ignorant I was. Now I’m changed. Now I’m a mother and I have none of the ideology and hopefully everyone will see it when I come back,” she told ABC. “I hope America doesn’t think I’m a threat to them and I hope they can accept me.”
Muthana suggested that she could go to therapy when she returns.
“I am definitely planning, definitely wanting people to not make the same decision that I’ve made,” she told the outlet.
In the same camp, Shamima Begum ran away from her London home at the age of 15 to join ISIS before having a child with an ISIS member.
However, she hasn’t expressed as much remorse over her actions, and the United Kingdom has said it would strip her of her British citizenship.
ISIS in Trouble
ISIS’s once-sprawling “caliphate,” which stretched over much of Syria and Iraq, is now confined to Baghuz, a town in eastern Syria.
On Feb. 20, ISIS looked close to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday as civilians poured out, and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the remaining jihadists wanted to fight to the death, Reuters noted.
More than 2,000 civilians left the village of Baghouz in a convoy of dozens of trucks. Coalition warplanes could be seen overhead, and the sounds of intermittent gunbattles could be heard from the area, which is completely surrounded by the SDF.
“The terrorists are entrenched inside, still betting on ending it militarily,” said Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office. “Our forces said from the start that they have two options: unconditional surrender or for the battle to continue until its end.”
Reuters contributed to this report