Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ISIS Mother Pleads to Return—to Alabama

 

We knew this would happen. All the men and women who were excited about fighting for ISIS wanted to be involved with the ISIS cause and they went to fight in Syria. And now one of them wants to come home with her child.

Hoda Muthana went to Syria in 2014; she was one of 1,500 foreign women and the only American staying in a Kurdish-run refugee camp. She was married three times and widowed twice. And now she has an 18-month old son. She is asking to return to the United States.

Her attorney claims she was brainwashed by ISIS. She wanted to “spill American blood”; she was known online as a prominent spokesperson for ISIS. Now she says that joining ISIS “was a big mistake.”

She told The Guardian that her parents were very conservative and limited her freedom in Alabama. She claims that contributed to her radicalization.

In a letter obtained by ABC News, these were the words she wrote:

Being where I was and seeing the ppl [sic] around me scared me because I realized I didn’t want to be a part of this. My beliefs weren’t the same as theirs. In my quiet moments, in between bombings, starvation, cold and fear I would look at my beautiful little boy and know that I didn’t belong here and neither did he. I would think sometimes of my family, my friends and the life that I knew and I realized how I didn’t appreciate or maybe even really understand how important the freedoms that we have in America are. I do now. To say that I regret my past words, any pain that I caused my family and any concerns I would cause my country would be hard for me to really express properly.

I think her choices were unwise and irresponsible. She has now put her own life and that of her child’s potentially in danger from Islamist radicals. We don’t know if she has outgrown her brainwashing. Would we be safe if we admitted her to the U.S.? What about her child?

My heart goes out to her and I say no. You can’t return.

There are 98 comments.

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  1. Larry3435 Member

    Obama would have been happy to trade six terrorists from Gitmo to bring her back.

    • #1
    • February 19, 2019, at 4:44 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  2. JustmeinAZ Member

    Looks like she’s been able to find a goodly amount of eyeliner and mascara in her miserable accommodations.

    • #2
    • February 19, 2019, at 4:47 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  3. Rodin Member

    She made her choice. Let her live and die by it.

    • #3
    • February 19, 2019, at 5:10 PM PST
    • 19 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I wanted to present this story as dispassionately as I could, but I am so angry. It’s one thing to do stupid things because you’re rebelling against your parents. It’s quite another to go to the other side of the world and sign up to help a disgusting, murderous way of life, and then believe that is what G-d wants you to do. And then to spew their venom over social media, until it becomes inconvenient.

    If she wants to make amends, she should see if an NGO over there will hire her to help out those Syrians who are suffering in other camps. But I suspect that she thinks we should feel sorry for her and cave. Not this person. Uh-uh.

    • #4
    • February 19, 2019, at 5:22 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  5. ST Inactive
    ST

    Rush to judgment much?!? Let’s see her in a bikini and evening wear before making the call.

    • #5
    • February 19, 2019, at 5:32 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  6. ST Inactive
    ST

    Or bring her back and shoot her for treason?

     

    • #6
    • February 19, 2019, at 5:38 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  7. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Brainwashed? It wasn’t like she was kidnapped or anything. She willingly joined before they would have had a chance to brainwash her. 

    I don’t think, “Oops, sorry about that” is going to be enough at this point.

    • #7
    • February 19, 2019, at 5:42 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  8. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    No, No, 1000 times NO. She should never be allowed back in the US for any reason. I just read a story of a similar British woman who had her citizenship revoked when she wanted to return to Britain from ISIS. Actions have consequences. Let her suffer.

    • #8
    • February 19, 2019, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Brainwashed? It wasn’t like she was kidnapped or anything. She willingly joined before they would have had a chance to brainwash her.

    I don’t think, “Oops, sorry about that” is going to be enough at this point.

    Oh but, Vance, they brainwashed her on the Internet. <sarc off> She is not welcome here .

    • #9
    • February 19, 2019, at 5:55 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    From a must-read 2015 Buzzfeed article:

    In her first tweet from Syria, “Umm Jihad” uploaded a picture of four passports — American, Canadian, U.K., and Australian — being held by hands garbed in the black gloves worn by the most conservative Muslim women. “Bonfire soon, no need for these anymore, alhamdulliah [thanks be to God],” she captioned the image. Now that they were living under the Islamic State, no other nationality mattered.

    [snip]

    Hoda confirmed to BuzzFeed News that she was not telling the truth to her father about why she wanted the money ($2500). “It would never cross my mind to come back,” she said. “I wanted to see if he’d help me out during troubling times. It was just a test. I knew he wouldn’t send me anything anyway.”

    [snip]

    “Nothing is forced here,” she said, dismissing her father’s claims that she and other women in ISIS are forced into marriage. Even knowing that her union with a fighter would hurt her family, Hoda said she had no reservations on her wedding day. “I felt the most content,” she said. “I wanted to marry under an Islamic state rather than the West and since it means obeying Allah, what my parents think has no affect on me, I feel indifferent.”

    Since that article, she has married twice more. Got pregnant. Had a kid.

    If Buzzfeed news could find her four years ago, I would hope the CIA would know all about her as well. If she is let back in this country, it will be a travesty.

    • #10
    • February 19, 2019, at 5:58 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  11. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s tragic, but there are a lot of tragedies in the wake of Islamic supremacy. As a Christian, I advise her to take up her cross. And may God have mercy on her and her son. Because America won’t.

    • #11
    • February 19, 2019, at 6:04 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  12. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My sister and I have been talking about this, as there is a similar situation in the UK, where Shamina Begum, an ISIS bride (read: volunteer sex slave) has been begging to come home for the sake of her three-day old baby (read: “I’d like free health care on the NHS, courtesy of the British taxpayer, please”). Prior to this baby, she had two others during her time in Syria, but they died of illness and malnutrition. She’s 19. She left home and went to Syria when she was 15. She’s had three children. Two of them are dead.

    Today, the British government stripped her of her British citizenship. This was a surprise to many. Her family is expected to appeal the decision, which has effectively rendered her stateless. I guess we’ll see what happens. She’d not be coming back if I were running the country (I daresay that much will be made of the fact that she was 15 when she left home). She has remained intransigent and unapologetic for ISIS brutality.

    As for the US girl, (who’s 23 and was 19 when she ran away to freedom), and is currently on her third husband since she got to Syria (the first two are dead) perhaps she’ll come back and run for Congress in the great state of Minnesota, where she can serve alongside Ilhan Omar.

    Apparently, there are some 1,500 of these women, many of them from the UK and US. I expect this story will play for a while.

     

     

    • #12
    • February 19, 2019, at 6:05 PM PST
    • 21 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    She (View Comment):
    Apparently, there are some 1,500 of these women, many of them from the UK and US. I expect this story will play for a while.

    Thanks for the information on the Brit, @she. I wonder how our own government will respond to Muthana. I do think we need to send a message to all the folks who went over there if they try to come back. I’m sorry they were so young and stupid. (Seems to be quite a bit of that stateside, too.) It is pretty surprising how the UK responded; then again, they’ve had quite a bit of unpleasant Muslim activity there.

    • #13
    • February 19, 2019, at 6:20 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. fidelio102 Coolidge

    She (View Comment):

    My sister and I have been talking about this, as there is a similar situation in the UK, where Shamina Begum, an ISIS bride (read: volunteer sex slave) has been begging to come home for the sake of her three-day old baby (read: “I’d like free health care on the NHS, courtesy of the British taxpayer, please”). Prior to this baby, she had two others during her time in Syria, but they died of illness and malnutrition. She’s 19. She left home and went to Syria when she was 15. She’s had three children. Two of them are dead.

    Today, the British government stripped her of her British citizenship. This was a surprise to many. Her family is expected to appeal the decision, which has effectively rendered her stateless. I guess we’ll see what happens. She’d not be coming back if I were running the country (I daresay that much will be made of the fact that she was 15 when she left home). She has remained intransigent and unapologetic for ISIS brutality.

    As for the US girl, (who’s 23 and was 19 when she ran away to freedom), and is currently on her third husband since she got to Syria (the first two are dead) perhaps she’ll come back and run for Congress in the great state of Minnesota, where she can serve alongside Ilhan Omar.

    Apparently, there are some 1,500 of these women, many of them from the UK and US. I expect this story will play for a while.

     

    Fortunately the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid (one of the few intelligent ministers in the current sorry government), has decided to revoke Ms Begum’s British citizenship.

    UK taxpayers have enough on their plate without having to subsidize long jail sentences for returning Jihadists.

    Let them rot where they are. 

     

    • #14
    • February 19, 2019, at 6:54 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  15. tigerlily Member

    No.

    • #15
    • February 19, 2019, at 7:11 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Poindexter Inactive

    Nope.

    • #16
    • February 19, 2019, at 7:13 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive

    ST (View Comment):

    Or bring her back and shoot her for treason?

    Bingo!

    Feeling a bit “final” with respect to consequences lately, around issues like this.

    • #17
    • February 19, 2019, at 8:37 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Cato Rand Coolidge

    Her child should certainly be allowed to return. She can return if she details every element of every crime she participated in under oath, and accepts the legal consequences. If she thinks there are circumstances that shouId mitigate her punishment, she can offer those too. If that’s not good enough, I wish her luck where she is. Her choices have consequences – ideally the consequences provided for under American law, not by the vagaries of life in war torn Syria, but consequences nonetheless.

    • #18
    • February 19, 2019, at 9:31 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Richard Easton Member

    Nope. She chose the side of terrorists. But perhaps she could marry her brother and run for Congress.

    • #19
    • February 19, 2019, at 10:53 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    As far as I am concerned she renounced her citizenship. Her son, through no fault of his own, is not an American. 

    I had initially thought perhaps we could take the child back, but the child was never an American in the first place – much like any other child born to Syrian nationals; he simply has no claim. 

    • #20
    • February 19, 2019, at 11:06 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  21. JoelB Member

    Perhaps, like Philip Nolan, in Edward Everett Hale’s “The Man Without a Country” she has had a change of heart.

    • #21
    • February 20, 2019, at 1:25 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m not going to trust this woman to move freely inside our borders. We have enough people who are easily brainwashed here already.

     

    • #22
    • February 20, 2019, at 3:58 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  23. Cato Rand Coolidge

    Franco (View Comment):

    I’m not going to trust this woman to move freely inside our borders. We have enough people who are easily brainwashed here already.

     

    That’s the key. Giving her freedom of movement in the US would be insane. BTW – a bunch of European countries are dealing with the same issue and getting pressure from Trump to take these people back. Their response – and I think it’s a realistic one – is that they’re not in a position to gather the evidence necessary to prosecute them and they don’t want to let them come back to roam free and become “home grown terrorists.” That’s why I proposed “admit your crimes” as a condition to return. We’ll get you out of Syria, but only if you voluntarily do your time when you get “home.”

    • #23
    • February 20, 2019, at 4:53 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. I Walton Member

    Give her a job, abroad, telling her story.

    • #24
    • February 20, 2019, at 5:09 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  25. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Cato Rand (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    I’m not going to trust this woman to move freely inside our borders. We have enough people who are easily brainwashed here already.

     

    That’s the key. Giving her freedom of movement in the US would be insane. BTW – a bunch of European countries are dealing with the same issue and getting pressure from Trump to take these people back. Their response – and I think it’s a realistic one – is that they’re not in a position to gather the evidence necessary to prosecute them and they don’t want to let them come back to roam free and become “home grown terrorists.” That’s why I proposed “admit your crimes” as a condition to return. We’ll get you out of Syria, but only if you voluntarily do your time when you get “home.”

    “Millions for defense, but not one cent for ‘time.'” Support these women and men at taxpayer expense for the next 20 or 30 years of their lives? No, thanks. I might be able to go for “Welcome to Guantanamo Bay; we’ve thrown away the key,” but that’s about it. If they love their infant children enough to surrender them, perhaps we could discuss taking the children in, but to use their children as PR and bait for why they must be allowed back is yet another reason why they should not be, IMHO.

    • #25
    • February 20, 2019, at 5:13 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Cato Rand (View Comment):

    Her child should certainly be allowed to return. She can return if she details every element of every crime she participated in under oath, and accepts the legal consequences. If she thinks there are circumstances that shouId mitigate her punishment, she can offer those too. If that’s not good enough, I wish her luck where she is. Her choices have consequences – ideally the consequences provided for under American law, not by the vagaries of life in war torn Syria, but consequences nonetheless.

    I’d consider your option, @catorand, except I assume that she would go to prison. And that’s okay, but it would have to be prison for life, no parole. Then again, do I really want to pay for her imprisonment? I don’t know that I’d be willing to do that. I appreciate your weighing in, though.

    • #26
    • February 20, 2019, at 5:33 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  27. MarciN Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    I’m not going to trust this woman to move freely inside our borders. We have enough people who are easily brainwashed here already.

     

    That is a good point. Who could possibly say for sure that underneath, she does’t feel that the U.S. military victimized her and her cause, that’s she not trying to come into the country to exact revenge?

    • #27
    • February 20, 2019, at 5:35 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  28. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Should her son return to the US, who will raise him? The grandparents? Are they Muslim?

    Again, it’s tragic. He’s an innocent — for now. But I still say “no.”

    • #28
    • February 20, 2019, at 6:29 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Should her son return to the US, who will raise him? The grandparents? Are they Muslim?

    Again, it’s tragic. He’s an innocent — for now. But I still say “no.”

    I believe her parents are Muslim, but were horrified by her decision to join ISIS. I would be willing to see them raise the child, but I don’t know if she would allow them to adopt him. He’d likely have a better life with them than with her.

    • #29
    • February 20, 2019, at 6:46 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If we must, GITMO.

    • #30
    • February 20, 2019, at 6:52 AM PST
    • 5 likes

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