The father of a woman who traveled from her home in Alabama to marry an Islamic State fighter filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration as part of an effort to get her and his 18-month-old grandson returned to the United States.
Lawyers acting for Ahmed Ali Muthana, a former diplomat at the United Nations for Yemen who is a naturalized U.S. citizen and lives in Alabama, argue in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington D.C. late Thursday that remarks by Trump and other senior White House officials claiming that Hoda Muthana, 24, is no longer a U.S. citizen – thus barring her and her son from re-entering the USA – are unconstitutional.
Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr are named as defendants in the case. Trump said Wednesday he had instructed Pompeo to deny Muthana re-entry. Pompeo said she was not a U.S. citizen and has no “legal basis” to be brought back to American soil from the Kurdish-run refugee camp in northern Syria where she is being held with her young son, named in the suit as John Doe Muthana.
Muthana joined the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in 2014 after telling her parents she was going to Atlanta, Georgia, as part of a field trip connected with her business studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Instead, she withdrew from college and used her tuition reimbursement to purchase a plane ticket to Turkey, according to court documents.