“ISIS bride” Hoda Muthana — who fled Alabama to join ISIS in 2014 and is now barred from returning to the US — has said that she will regret the decision “for the rest of my life.”
Muthana, 26, tried to explain what led her to become part of the terror group in the new documentary “The Return: Life After ISIS” by Spanish filmmaker Alba Sotorra Clua. “When you are brainwashed, you don’t realize it until you snap out of it,” Muthana said. “I took everything too fast, and too deep.” Muthana sad she experienced “this horrible way of life that I really regret for the rest of my life and that I wish I could just erase,” she says in the film. Muthana was a 20-year-old student in Hoover, Alabama when she left the US to join ISIS.
The sheltered daughter of Yemeni immigrants, Muthana said her path to the terror group began when she tried to connect online with other Muslim people. “I didn’t have much friends in high school and I was extremely shy, painfully shy,” she reportedly says in the film. “I wasn’t allowed to hang out with friends. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere, not even to the mall. I grew up as an American, born and raised in America, and all I had waiting for me in the future was an arranged marriage — the exact way my parents wanted it to be,” Muthana continued. “So I had no time to dream about anything.”
In Syria, Muthana insisted that she expected to find “a happy place with Muslims, helping in hospitals, helping in schools, helping a community out and just being good decent Muslims to each other.” Instead, “It was a big mess. It was hell on earth. Really,” she said. At one-point Muthana celebrated by burning her American passport and calling for attacks on Americans, but in 2019, Muthana said she took her now 4-year-old son Adam and fled ISIS, before being captured by Kurdish forces and taken to a refugee camp in northeastern Syria. She begged to come back to the US, but, under a diplomatic law, a judge ruled that New Jersey-born Muthana wasn’t an actual citizen. The government said that her passport, revoked under the Obama administration, was issued in error. Since then, her family has continued to fight a legal battle to bring Muthana home and her lawyer told People they will take the case all the way to the US Supreme Court.
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ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: USA TODAY
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