Citing fear for the safety of herself and her child, the America-born daughter of a Yemeni diplomat who urged her fellow U.S.-based jihadists to go on “drivebys” and “spill all their [Americans’] blood” says she deserves “a second chance” because she now fully “regrets every single thing.”
According to the Trump administration’s past statements about the self-described “regretful” terrorist, however, she has no chance of getting back in.
In yet another sympathetic interview with NBC News published Friday, Hoda Muthana, a 25-year-old who left Alabama in 2014 to join the Islamic State in Syria and subsequently married three terrorists, tried again to make her case for being readmitted into the U.S.
Muthana currently lives in a tent with her 2-year-old son in the al-Roj refugee camp, a camp in northeast Syria that contains about 500 women who likewise joined ISIS and which is manned by an all-women Kurdish militia. Muthana has lived in the camp for 10 months since the collapse of the terrorist group she traveled from America to join.
In the interview, Muthana insisted to NBC that she fully “regrets” her past decisions and that she “deserves a second chance” no matter how “harmful” her past sins, NBC reports.
“Anyone that believes in God believes that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were,” Muthana told NBC, who also interviewed her earlier in the year.
“I did not support the beheadings from Dhola from day one till now,” she told NBC despite having fought alongside the murderous group for years and married three terrorists. “I do not support any of their crimes. I do not support any of their suicide attempts.”
She also portrayed herself as a victim under threat from more radical women in the refugee camp, describing herself as living in a state of fear of reprisal from fellow refugees who hold more radical views.
“I am risking my life doing these types of interviews,” Muthana told the network.
Along with the fear is a sense of despair, she suggested, telling NBC she finds it “hard to get up” in the morning. She said she wants her son to be around their family, while she just wants to “go to school,” “have a job” and “own my own car.”
Though Muthana maintains that she is “just as American as any blond-haired, blue-eyed girl,” as she put it in a February NBC interview — suggesting race was a factor rather than her terrorist activity — the Trump administration says that’s not true.
Born in New Jersey to a Yemen diplomat, the administration argues, she is not actually an American citizen. As NBC notes, “The children of foreign diplomats based in the U.S. are excluded from the right to citizenship by birthright.”
Though her father’s diplomatic posting ended in 1994, his family was allowed to stay in the U.S. because of the civil war raging in Yemen.
When Muthana’s legal attempt to get re-admitted into the U.S. first became a national story in February, President Trump announced on Twitter that he’d shut it down.
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Trump tweeted.
I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
“She’s a terrorist. She’s not a U.S. citizen,” Pompeo told NBC a day later. “She ought not return to this country.”