Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued his argument against allowing the US-born “ISIS bride” Hoda Muthana to return home, telling a radio host on Monday, “we don’t need people like her who threatened the lives of Americans.”
Muthana, 24, left Alabama where she was living with her family, and in November of 2014 she was was smuggled into Syria to join the Islamic State. There she married a succession of IS militants and gave birth to the son of a now-deceased IS fighter.
She also posted to Twitter calling for violence against Americans. “Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them,” she said in a tweet from March 2015, according to The New York Times.
She deserted the terrorist organization with her 18-month-old son in December as the caliphate crumbled, surrendering to Kurdish forces.
Currently detained in a refugee camp in Syria, Muthana has been begging to return to the US, insisting that she is a US citizen — something that is being debated in federal court.
Pompeo, at the direction of President Donald Trump, issued a statement in late February arguing that Muthana “is not a US citizen and will not be admitted into the United States.”
Pompeo doubled down on his previous statement in a radio interview Monday.
“This is a woman who went online and tried to kill young men and women of the United States of America,” he told Dave Levora of AM Quad Cities, WOC Radio in Iowa. “She advocated for jihad, for people to drive vans across streets here in the United States and kill Americans.”
“She’s not a US citizen. She has no claim of US citizenship.” Pompeo explained. “In fact, she’s a terrorist, and we shouldn’t bring back foreign terrorists to the United States of America.”
“President Trump is determined that she will not come back,” he continued. “And we don’t need that kind of risk, and we don’t need people like her who threatened the lives of Americans and Iowans coming back to the United States who aren’t citizens.”
Muthana’s father, who argues that his daughter is a US citizen by birth, is suing the US government, specifically the secretary of state.
Muthana, the daughter of a former Yemeni diplomat, was born in Hackensack, New Jersey in October 1994. Her father reportedly stepped down from his post as a diplomat just prior to her birth; however, the United Nations did not notify the relevant authorities until the following year, effectively pushing back the date when his diplomatic status ended.
Under the provisions of the 14th Amendment, anyone born in the US is entitled to citizenship. However, this does not apply to children of those individuals under the diplomatic protections of another country.
The Department of Justice backed Pompeo’s statements Monday, arguing that Muthana “is not and has never been a US citizen.”
Remorseful yet indignant, Muthana recently told CBS News that Trump should “study the legal system,” telling reporters that she is allowed back. “I have papers. I have citizenship.”
Muthana previously held a US passport, but that document was issued to her “in error,” Monday’s DOJ court filing said. The Department of State informed her in 2016 that her passport was no longer valid.
On Monday, a federal judge rejected the family’s request to expedite the case. It marks a major setback for the suit, which may not be litigated until sometime this summer.