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Is the American Justice System Equipped to Deal With an Ex-ISIS Member?

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A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic State group in a tunnel.

With the gradual loss of ISIS territories in Iraq and Syria, many of its fighters and supporters are being detained in Kurdish-run camps. But what happens when they want to come home?

Hoda Muthana is a 23-year-old American from Alabama who joined ISIS in 2015. She’s now currently detained in a Syrian Kurdish-controlled camp along with her two-year-old son, who has an ISIS birth certificate. Her plea to come back to the United States to face trial has captivated the public. It has also put the Trump administration’s lack of policy in this arena in the glaring spotlight.

While President Donald Trump has tweeted that European nations should take back their own citizens, he has been mute on the issue of Muthana. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put out a statement in February, declaring that Muthana is not a U.S. citizen due to her father’s Yemeni diplomatic status at the time of her birth. But Muthana’s father gave up his diplomatic status four months before she was born on American soil. Furthermore, Muthana has had two American passports, including the one that she used to travel to Syria to join ISIS in the first place.

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Thanks !

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