The mainstream media has done its part in trying to promote the efforts of Hoda Muthana, the American-born daughter of a former Yemen diplomat who embraced radical Islam, urged the murder of innocent people while living in the States, journeyed to Syria in 2014 to fight alongside the barbaric terrorist group, and now wants to return to United States. Her biggest obstacle now is that both the Obama and Trump administrations determined that she isn’t even a citizen of the United States.
In an interview with NBC’s Richard Engel two weeks ago that has gotten more attention online this week after being highlighted by NewsBusters’ Curtis Houck, Muthana was asked why people should believe that she has actually renounced radicalism, particularly because of some of the tweets she posted. Muthana laughed and responded dismissively, “I know that, but it was an ideology that really was just a phase.”
“There’s one tweet in particular where you talk about calling on Americans to do drive-by shootings, to rent a truck to drive over people, spilling their blood — and you say Memorial Day, Veterans Day, go out and do it,” Engel said, speaking with Muthana inside her tent in a section of a Syrian refugee camp reserved for foreign ISIS families.
“Again, my lawyer told me not to speak about these things,” she responded.
Here’s a clip of the moment tweeted out by Houck:
As MRC reported in February, the media has covered Muthana in an overtly sympathetic way. In an interview with ABC News in February, the ISIS bride said she believes she deserves to be let back in the country and might just need some “therapy” as her “punishment.”
“Maybe therapy lessons,” she said in response to being asked about a just punishment for her joining a terrorist group. “Maybe a process that will ensure us we will never do this again.”
In another interview, CBS foreign correspondent Holly Williams made clear that she sympathized with Muthana, especially in light of Trump announcing via Twitter that he’d directed the State Department to deny her request because she “is not a U.S. citizen.” As evidence that Muthana did have a passport, Williams, incredibly, cited Muthana declaring proudly through her Twitter account (handle: “Umm Jihad”) that she’d thrown her passport into a “bonfire.”
CBS also gave Muthana’s lawyer, Hassan Shibly — whom Williams failed to tell the audience worked for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has been accused of having ties to terrorists — a chance to make the case for his client. But Williams failed to fully explain the debate surrounding Muthana’s claim, which involves her father’s former role as a diplomat for Yemen and the timing of her birth.
The Daily Wire’s Josh Hammer provides more context for the case:
The legal dispute begins with Muthana’s father’s diplomatic status — or lack thereof — at the time of Muthana’s birth. The U.S. government’s legal position is that the government’s records show that Muthana’s father held diplomatic status until February 6, 1995 — which is after Muthana’s birthdate of October 28, 1994. The government’s position is that this means Muthana herself was not a U.S. citizen at birth. But the details of Muthana’s birth are made more complex by the specific actions of her father around that time: Only months prior to her birth, he stepped down from his position at the Yemeni United Nations mission, thereby relinquishing his diplomatic immunity while still remaining in the U.S. on a diplomatic visa.
The legal dispute only gets murkier from there. Muthana was granted a passport in 2004, despite initial reluctance from the U.S. government. Her passport was renewed in 2014, shortly before she sauntered off to Istanbul in 2014 en route to her ultimate destination: The then-ascendant nearby Islamic State “caliphate.” While carousing with her motley crew of 7th-century lusting, genocidal, mass murderous, sex enslaving jihadists, Muthana decided to symbolically burn her physical U.S. passport.