Nearly everyone makes mistakes when they’re a teenager, but most people don’t turn teenage angst into defecting from their country, joining a terror organization, and advocating violence against the entire Western World, but that is the route that 19 year old Hoda Muthana took when she left her home and family in Alabama to travel to the Middle East and join ISIS.
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Now, after being an ISIS bride multiple times and giving birth to the children of terrorists, Muthana is living in a refugee camp in Syria and begging to come back to her home in Alabama.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, she said:
“We were basically in the time of ignorance […] and then became jihadi, if you like to describe it that way,” she said. “I thought I was doing things correctly for the sake of God.”
“You want to go out with your friends and I didn’t get any of that. I turned to my religion and went in too hard. I was self-taught and thought whatever I read, it was right.
“I look back now and I think I was very arrogant. Now I’m worried about my son’s future. In the end I didn’t have many friends left, because the more I talked about the oppression of Isis the more I lost friends. I was brainwashed once and my friends are still brainwashed.”
Muthana was married to two different ISIS fighters and then eventually fell in with Syrian freedom fighters. She married one of those fighters, but then after spending nights in the desert, her group was captured by Kurdish forces and she was taken to the al-Hawl refugee camp in Northern Syria. The camp is basically a tent city where the wives and widows of terrorists and guerrilla fighters are taken. Of the approximately 1,500 women in the camp, Muthana is the only American.
Muthana has not been in contact with anyone in the US government, but has the following message:
“I would tell them please forgive me for being so ignorant, and I was really young and ignorant and I was 19 when I decided to leave. I believe that America gives second chances. I want to return and I’ll never come back to the Middle East. America can take my passport and I wouldn’t mind.”
Here is the audio of her interview with the Guardian: