An American woman who when she was 19-years-old fled her home in Alabama to join ISIS in Syria is now pleading with U.S. officials to let her back into the country.
Hoda Muthana, now 24, told The Guardian in an interview at a refugee camp called al-Hawa where she and her 18-month-old son are currently living that she was ignorant when she had left the U.S. to join ISIS in 2014 and that it was a “big mistake.”
Fox News reports,
The plea from Hoda Muthana, 24, comes following her recent escape from ISIS and capture by Kurdish forces. She is being held in a refugee camp in northeast Syria and told The Guardian in an interview that her last four years with the terrorist group have been a traumatizing experience where ‘we starved and we literally ate grass.’
Muthana first made headlines in 2015 after it emerged that she left her family in Birmingham, Alabama to join the bloodthirsty terrorist group.
An attorney representing her parents at the time said Muthana was ‘brainwashed’ over the Internet, according to the Associated Press, and that she went against her family’s wishes and the teachings of Islam by secretly boarding a plane to Turkey in late 2014 to link up with ISIS.
The attorney said it then, but it wasn’t until Sunday -- in her interview with The Guardian -- that Muthana admitted herself that she was ‘brainwashed’ and made a ‘big mistake.’
Muthana was “once one of Isis’s most prominent online agitators who took to social media to call for the blood of Americans to be spilled,” The Guardian writes. In 2015, she used a Twitter account to call on Americans to kill other Americans. This “call to jihad” was reported to have happened after her first husband, an Australian jihadist, was killed in battle. She went on to have two more husbands. The second husband, a Tunisian jihadist whom she had her son with, was also killed.
According to The Guardian, Muthana admits that she was a zealot at the time that she used Twitter to spark violence but claims that her account was taken over by others the following year in 2016.
She is asking U.S. officials to “please forgive me for being so ignorant” and believes “that America gives second chances.”
“I would tell them please forgive me for being so ignorant, and I was really young and ignorant and I was 19 when I decided to leave,” she told The Guardian.
“I believe that America gives second chances,” she continued. “I want to return and I’ll never come back to the Middle East. America can take my passport and I wouldn’t mind.”
Muthana said that her parents in Alabama were too conservative and restrictive which contributed to her radicalization. She said that her friends are “still brainwashed” and that she is “worried” about her son’s future.
Her lawyer is now arguing that Muthana could be a valuable resource to the U.S. as a voice of "a deradicalization program," though U.S. officials have yet to publicly acknowledge her plea.
She is "the only American among an estimated 1,500 foreign women and children inside the sprawling al-Hawl refugee camp of 39,000 people in northern Syria,” where she is not allowed to leave and is escorted by armed guards,” The Guardian reports.
President Trump on Sunday asked countries to repatriate captured ISIS fighters and "put them on trial," saying that "the alternative is not a good one."
"The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial," he tweeted. "The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them........"
Trump continued in a following tweet, "....The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go. We do so much, and spend so much - Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!