Islamic State bride says she’ll regret leaving US for terrorist group for the rest of her life
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
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“ISIS bride” Hoda Muthana — who fled Alabama to join ISIS in 2014 and is now barred from returning to the US — said she will regret the decision “for the rest of my life,” according to a report on Wednesday.
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, People reported.
“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.”
What she experienced was “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, according to People.
Muthana was 20 and a college student in Hoover, Ala., when she ran away to join the Islamic State in Syria.
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.”
Muthana also said that she didn’t have a good relationship with her mother, and that, “I thought I could improve it by being more religious because she’s very religious.”
“I learned all of this on my own, online,” she said.
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.
After joining ISIS, Muthana was married to a series of the group’s fighters — the first two of whom were killed — and had a son with one of them.
She continued to post online, celebrating burning her US 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.
“This is such a crazy life,” Muthana says in the documentary. “It’s like a movie. It’s worse than a movie.”
The filmmaker, Clua, told the mag that she hopes her work will soften public perception of so-called “ISIS brides,” like Muthana and Shamima Begum, who was 15 when she fled the UK to join the terror group in Syria.
“All the women I met there regret having went the moment they enter. But it’s too late, because then you cannot leave,” Clua said.
The doc is available to watch through Thursday at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York.
Source: New York Post