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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Hoda Muthana: Experts insist she must return to face consequences – ITREALMS

The now trapped Hoda Muthana, needs to return to United States of America (USA) to face the consequences of her action by joining Islamic State fighters, says expert and senior fellow, Foreign Policy at the Centre for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution, Mr. Daniel L. Byman, reports ITREALMS.

Reacting to the recent ban placed on the 25-year old Hoda by the Trump administration’s decision not to allow her back into the United States after she went to Syria to join the Islamic State, Byman described the decision as “short-sighted.”

According to him, it is an abrogation of U.S. leadership and discouragement to other countries from taking the hard steps needed to handle the threat from thousands of returning Islamic State fighters.
ITREALMS recalls that Muthana, then a 20-year-old student, apparently left Alabama in 2014 to join the Islamic State at the height of the Caliphate. She equally reportedly served as a recruiter and urged attacks on the West. Along with 12 other Americans, Muthana is held by U.S. Kurdish allies in Syria, who are mostly women and children and claimed she regretted her decision to join the group and is ready to face the consequences, which will not exclude jail term over her act.

Byman noted that although Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed she has no grounds for citizenship, which he disagreed, arguing that Hoda was born in the United States and holds a U.S. passport.

“The administration’s approach is at odds with traditional U.S. interpretations of who is a citizen,” he declared.

In addition, Byman said that the United States has well-resourced police and federal law enforcement services and strong counterterrorism laws, stressing that “If Muthana returns for trial, she will not pose a threat. If Muthana voluntarily joined the Islamic State, as seems likely, she should be allowed home, given a trial, and serve the appropriate penalty under law for providing support to a terrorist organization and other crimes. It is tempting to fall into the trap of assuming that, as a young woman, she was ‘lured’ to the Islamic State by male masterminds or was not otherwise responsible for her actions.”

He pointed out that hitherto, women have played an important role in the Islamic State as recruiters, enforcers, and otherwise bolstering the caliphate, hence Muthana, like other volunteers, should be held fully responsible for her own actions.
ITREALMS recollects that the Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC with a mission to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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