The father of an Alabama woman who left the United States in 2014 to join the Islamic State in Syria has filed a lawsuit claiming that she is an American citizen and should be allowed to return home. Hoda Muthana and her 18-month old son have been living in a Syrian refugee camp after fleeing from ISIS, and she claims that she is afraid that if she stays she will be killed by other refugees who still support the terrorist group.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Muthana is not a citizen, a determination made by the Obama administration because her father was a Yemeni diplomat and under the Immigration and Nationality Act, a child born to parents who are accredited foreign diplomatic officers is not automatically considered a citizen.
Muthana's father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, is claiming that he was not a diplomat at the time of his daughter's birth and that she should be considered a U.S. citizen. He pointed out that she was given a passport before she left to join ISIS.
If Muthana is allowed to return, she understands that she would face jail time for joining the terrorist group.
"Ms. Muthana has publicly acknowledged her actions and accepted full responsibility for those actions," her lawyers said. "In Ms. Muthana's words, she recognizes that she has 'ruined' her own life, but she does not want to ruin the life of her young child."
Hassan Shibly, one of the attorneys for the Muthana family, joined AM Tampa Bay to discuss the case.