A woman who left America four years ago to join the Islamic State won't be allowed back into the country, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.
In 2014, Hoda Muthana left her family in Alabama to marry an ISIS fighter in Syria. Now a widow living in a refugee camp, Muthana told The Guardian earlier this week she "deeply regret[s]" her decision and asked to come back and face the American justice system. But in contrast to what a lawyer for Muthana's family claimed, Pompeo said on Tuesday that Muthana is "not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States."
BREAKING: US Secretary of State Pompeo Blocks #ISIS Bride Hoda Muthana from returning to US. Says Muthana is not US citizen, has no legal rights.
Muthana was recruited in 2014 while living in Alabama and seeking to return with child brought under ISIS. Statement: pic.twitter.com/d2vZf9zR4M
The Muthana family's lawyer countered Pompeo's statement, telling The Associated Press Muthana was born in New Jersey. Muthana was a student at the University of Alabama when she flew to the Middle East, telling her family she was going on a school trip, per CBS News. Instead, she married an ISIS fighter and had a son. "I know I've ruined my future and my son's future," she told The Guardian when asking for a chance to return.
Muthana is one of about 1,500 women and children staying at the refugee camp in northern Syria, and The Guardian says she's probably the only American. A British citizen and "ISIS bride" similarly tried to return home, but the U.K. revoked her citizenship on Tuesday, AP reports. Kathryn Krawczyk