The controversial American-born ISIS bride told NBC News on Friday that we thinks she will have “no problem” getting back into the United States. This is even though the Trump administration has insisted that she won’t be allowed into the country.
Hoda Muthana, 24, left the U.S. to join the Islamic State in Syria in 2014. She is now staying in a refugee camp with her 18-month-old son after fleeing the remnants of the caliphate.
President Trump said Wednesday that he told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to refuse her entry. Pompeo then announced to NBC’s “Today” on Thursday that Muthana is not a citizen and will not be admitted to the country.
Muthana, who was born in New Jersey and lived in Alabama, and her family are now suing the Trump administration in an effort to allow her to return.
“I know in fact that I was a citizen,” she told NBC News. “When I tried filing for a passport it was very easy. It came in 10 days. So, I thought I didn’t have a problem, and I’m sure there is no problem and I know my lawyer hopefully is working on it and he will win the case.”
When asked what she expects will happen if she is allowed to return to the U.S., Muthana said, “Of course I’ll be given jail time.”
Muthana is the daughter of a former Yemeni diplomat. The family’s lawyers claim that the government determined she is not a citizen because her father held diplomatic status at the time of her birth in Hackensack, New Jersey.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a person born in the U.S. to an accredited foreign diplomatic officer is not subject to U.S. law and is not automatically considered an American citizen at birth.
The Obama administration was first to determine she was not a citizen and notified her family they would revoke her passport in January 2016.
The family’s lawyers are now contending that Muthana’s father was no longer a diplomat when she was born and that she held a legitimate U.S. passport at the time she left for Syria.
Muthana said she fears for her life, not from camp guards, but from other ISIS wives who might seek reprisal for her speaking out against the group.
Muthana described herself as a former Islamic “radical” who has changed her beliefs. She added that she deeply regrets traveling to ISIS territory and that she was “brainwashed” online.