Pompeo bans entry to Alabama-born woman who joined IS
Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced that Hoda Muthana, an Alabama native who joined the Islamic State (IS) in 2014, is not a US citizen and will not be allowed to enter the US.
“Hoda Muthana is not a US citizen and will not be admitted into the US. She does not have any legal basis, no valid US passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the US,” Pompeo said in a statement.
According to US media, Muthana, who travelled to Syria and joined the IS in 2014, regrets joining the group and now wants to come home.
When asked about Muthana’s case at the State Department press briefing on Tuesday, deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said that “the situation of American citizens or possible American citizens in Syria is by definition extremely complicated, and we’re looking into these cases to better understand the details.”
Palladino also noted that repatriating foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin was the best solution to preventing them from returning to the battlefield, reports Xinhua news agency.
President Donald Trump on February 16 required European allies to take back 800 Islamic State (IS) militants arrested in Syria after the US withdrawal.
Trump tweeted it was time “for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing” after the US had expended plenty of resources in Syria.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained more than 900 foreign fighters during their campaign against the IS in northeastern Syria, media reported.
The SDF has warned that they may not be able to hold IS fighters after the departure of US forces, which was ordered by the Trump administration last December.
According to media reports, French officials said that some French jihadists had returned to France and more would follow. Britain, however, refused to take back citizens who had joined the IS, and other European countries have remained largely silent about this issue.