The dilemma posed to the West by the returning “ISIS brides” was on display this week as the last group of die-hard women were transported by anti-ISIS forces to safe areas away from the final holdout in Syria, Baghouz. The burka-wearing women were shown in a video shouting abuse at female reporters and even grabbing them by their hair in anger of the failure to comply with Islamic strictures. One woman yells at a female reporter “Have you not read the Koran, are you not ashamed?” Another simply says “We will seek vengeance, there will be blood up your knees.” The scene is unfolding in Syria as we brace for litigation in the United States over the return of Hoda Muthana, an ISIS bride who once supported the terrorist organization but now wants to return. Muthana has an intriguing claim to citizenship.
The women are shown yelling “baqiya” from ISIS’s motto “baqiya wa tatamaddad”, or “remaining and expanding.” Some pledge to rebuild the “caliphate” and many swear that they will continue to follow ISIS.
Thousands are being relocated from the town and many are hardcore believers in ISIS and supported its blood-soaked regime, including its selling of young girls into sexual slavery and executions of nonbelievers.
The litigation over the return of Hoda Muthana has begun and she is presenting a plausible claim that she has a right to return to the United States, even if she will have to serve time for supporting a terrorist organization. Muthana was born in New Jersey after her father Ahmed Ali Muthana came her as a diplomat for Yemen. That would normally bar the use of birthright citizenship, but her father says that he left the diplomatic service and sought to remain in the United States before Muthana was born.
The issue will come down to a two-month period in 1994. The father insists that he gave up his status on September 1, 1994 as reflected in State Department documents. Two months after his status was revoked Huda Muthana was born. Moreover, his wife gained entry into the United States with a petition for permanent residency. That would seem to have a strong case for a citizenship claim and allow Muthana to return.
She was even issued a passport by the State Department, which the government now claims was issued by mistake.
Muthana, now 24, left the University of Alabama in 2014 to join ISIS, ultimately marrying two fighters who were killed in action. She now has a child by one of the fighters.
The case is now before U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton.