Judge: Alabama woman who joined ISIS is not a US citizen

Local News
Hoda muthana expedited hearing

WASHINGTON (WIAT) — A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has dismissed a lawsuit against the government to have an Alabama woman who joined ISIS be recognized as a U.S. citizen so she could be returned home from Syria.

With the dismissal, Hoda Muthana has not been recognized as a U.S. citizen, even though she was born in America and spent time in Alabama. Muthana, who joined ISIS in 2015, is currently being held by Kurdish forces in Syria with her 2-year-old son.

For a time, Muthana lived in Hoover and went to school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Since her capture, Muthana has renounced her ties to the terrorist group and wants to come home.

“Once I look back on it, I can’t stress how much of a crazy idea it was,” Muthana told The New York Times in February. “I can’t believe it. I ruined my life. I ruined my future.”

One point of contention was the fact that Muthana was born in America while her father was a U.N diplomat from Yemen. Under international law, children born to diplomats do not qualify for citizenship in the countries they were born in. However, her father claims his diplomatic status had been revoked prior to Muthana’s birth, meaning she was a citizen.

The case has brought international attention and has even been a point of a tweet with President Donald Trump.

One of Muthana’s attorneys, Christina Jump, released the following statement to CBS 42:

“The judge ruled from the bench that he believes he is bound by the Department of State’s representation as to when the US received notice that Mr. Muthana’s diplomatic position had ended, and granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss on that basis. A written opinion will follow.

“While we are disappointed with and disagree with the Court’s ruling today, this is not the end of our client’s legal options. We will wait to read the Court’s written opinion, and will evaluate our available options at that time.

“It is important to note, though, that the Judge today ruled based on his interpretation of when diplomatic immunity ends. The Court did not base its ruling on a tweet by the President, or by any supposed proclamation made by any official. United States citizenship cannot be revoked by tweet or any other form of social media, and today’s ruling does not change that.

“We at CLCMA (Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America) look forward to continuing to represent all of our clients in actions to protect their rights as US citizens.”

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