Washington: On Wednesday President Donald Trump said that he directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to allow Hoda Muthana, an Alabama woman who left in November 2014 to join IS, to return to the US -- despite her recent public plea to come back and stand trial in America. Trump tweeted "I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!,".
Hours earlier, Pompeo declared that Muthana, who is detained in a Kurdish refugee camp, is not an American citizen. Pompeo said in a statement "Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a US citizen and will not be admitted into the US. She does not have any legal basis, no valid US passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the US,". Muthana, now 24, was a college student when she travelled to Syria over four years ago to join IS -- eventually marrying three fighters and calling for the killing of Americans on Twitter.
Hassan Shibly, a family representative for Muthana, denied that she was not a citizen, and called the move by the Trump administration to claim otherwise "very dangerous." According to Shibly, Muthana was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1994. Shibly said in statement "The Trump administration continues its attempts to wrongfully strip citizens of their citizenship,". "Hoda Muthana had a valid US passport and is a citizen. She was born in Hackensack, NJ in October 1994, months after her father stopped being diplomat," he added before later tweeting a picture of what he claimed is Muthana's birth certificate, that appeared to confirm her place and date of birth.
Asked about Muthana's case on Tuesday, State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino noted that "the situation of American citizens or possible American citizens in Syria is by definition extremely complicated and we're looking into these cases to better understand the details." Palladino would not speak to the specific case, but said that in cases involving "American citizens or potential American citizens or alleged American citizens," US policy "would be to repatriate them, and it's what we call on all countries to do who have (foreign terrorist) fighters in Syria too."