Father sues to allow daughter who joined Islamic State to return to US
- Trump has attacked European allies that have not taken back hundreds of IS prisoners caught in Syria, where Trump plans to withdraw U.S. troops. By comparison, relatively few Americans have embraced radical Islam. The Counter Extremism Project at George Washington University has identified 64 Americans who joined IS in Syria or Iraq.
- Europe is debating the nationality of some extremists. Britain recently revoked the citizenship of Shamina Begum, who like Muthana traveled to Syria and wants to return to her country of birth.
- London asserted that because of her heritage she was entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship, but the Dhaka government Wednesday denied that she was eligible, leaving her effectively stateless.
The father of an American-born woman who defected to the Islamic State terrorist group filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Trump administration because he wants his daughter to be allowed to return to the United States.
The Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America (CLCMA) filed the complaint on behalf of Ahmed Ali Muthana, the father of Hoda Muthana and grandfather of her young son.
CLCMA said in a statement that the suit is “seeking declaratory relief recognizing (Hoda Muthana’s) citizenship, and injunctive relief requiring the United States to make good faith efforts to return her and her young son to the United States.”
The civil suit was filed, the statement said, “not to defend her from criminal prosecution, but instead seeking recognition of her United States citizenship, which prior to her departure was not in dispute and the citizenship of her young son.”
Pompeo: She’s not a citizen
Earlier Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo contended that the woman is not a U.S. citizen and should not be allowed to return home from Syria because her father was a Yemeni diplomat.
President Donald Trump said he ordered Pompeo to not let Muthana return to the U.S., even though her lawyer says she is willing to face U.S. prosecution that she willingly went to Syria and used social media to praise the killings of Westerners.
“She may have been born here,” Pompeo told NBC’s “Today” show. “She is not a U.S. citizen, nor is she entitled to U.S. citizenship.”
He contended that the 24-year-old woman, now with a child born in a relationship with one of her three jihadist husbands, is not an American citizen because of her father’s diplomatic status.
Father not a diplomat
But Muthana’s lawyer told U.S. news outlets that the father had ended his diplomatic service “months and months” before his daughter was born in the eastern U.S. state of New Jersey in 1994, thus making her an American citizen.
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