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Woman who was stripped of her US citizenship after she left Alabama to join a terror group says ‘I still believe I’m a US citizen’

Woman who was stripped of her US citizenship after she left Alabama to join a terror group says 'I still believe I'm a US citizen'

An Alabama woman who fled from home to join ISIS said she felt “broken” when the US revoked her citizenship for aiding the terror group, adding that “I still believe I’m a US citizen.”


Hoda Muthana appeared in an interview with TNM, which took place from a prison camp in Syria, where she is being held by US-allied forces. She begged to return to the US, and volunteered to serve time in prison if necessary.

The Obama administration stripped Muthana of citizenship in 2016, which made her request seem unlikely to happen. In 2019, then-President Donald Trump tweeted that he had personally barred Muthana from the US.

Also, in 2021, a federal appeals court affirmed that she wasn’t a US citizen, and rejected her father’s attempt to compel the government to let her return to the US. The US argued that Muthana should never have been treated as a US citizen since her father was a diplomat for Yemen when she was born.


The appeals court supported that decision, describing Hoda as “a prominent spokeswoman for ISIS on social media, advocating the killing of Americans and encouraging American women to join ISIS.”

But in her interview, a visibly emotional Muthana said: “I still believe I’m a [US] citizen now.”

“I’ve been through a lot of horrible horrible things in my life. One of the worst feelings I’ve ever had is someone telling me I wasn’t an American citizen. That broke me completely,” she said.

“If I need to sit in prison and do my time, I will do it … I won’t fight against it,” she added.


How It Went Down

Muthana told her family in November 2014 that she was going to Atlanta on a school trip, but instead flew to Turkey, and crossed into ISIS-held territory in Syria.

She married three jihadi fighters, was widowed twice, and gave birth to a baby boy during her time with ISIS.

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The Counter Extremism Project, a research nonprofit, said she promoted ISIS propaganda during her time with the group, tweeting in 2014 her intention to burn her US passport and calling for violent attacks in the US.

Muthana claimed in her interview that those tweets were sent by someone else in ISIS after they took her phone. She eventually ran away from the group during its downfall and was captured by Kurdish forces.

After she expressed a desire to return to the US with her child, former President Donald Trump tweeted in February 2019 that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to let her come back.

Muthana claimed in the TNM interview that she was a “victim of ISIS” and that she was brainwashed by online traffickers in 2014 into joining the group.

“Of course, I regret coming here,” she said, adding that “If I could take it back, I would do it in a heartbeat. I’m hoping my government looks at me as someone young at the time and naive.”


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