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ISIS bride's father sues Trump administration after State Dept. blocks her return to US

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Ahmed Ali Muthana says his daughter is an American citizen and has the right to come home

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

The father of an American-born ISIS bride has sued the Trump administration over the State Department's refusal to allow his daughter back into the United States with his grandson.

Ahmed Ali Muthana says his daughter, Hoda Muthana, is a U.S. citizen, and he wants to be able to send her money to ensure her "safe travel home."

What are the details?

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Washington, D.C., federal district court against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump, and newly confirmed Attorney General Bill Barr. Muthana is requesting that the administration recognize his daughter's American citizenship and allow her to return to the U.S. with her 18-month-old son.

Muthana also wants to be able to send his daughter the funds to enable her and his grandson "safe passage home, without subjecting himself to criminal liability."

The civil suit came a day after Pompeo issued an official statement saying Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and has no legal basis for returning to America from Syria after her stint as a bride to three separate Islamic state militants.

President Trump tweeted that he gave Pompeo the order.

According to Politico, the Trump administration said Hoda Muthana is not a naturalized citizen because she was born to a Yemeni diplomat. But the Muthana family insists she was born in the U.S. after Ahmed Ali Muthana ended his tenure as a diplomat, arguing that Hoda is, indeed, entitled to the Constitutional protections afforded to U.S. citizens from the time of birth.

This isn't the first time U.S. officials have questioned the legitimacy of Hoda Muthana's right to citizenship. The lawsuit states that in 2004, Ahmed Ali Muthana's initial application to obtain a passport for Hoda (then a minor) was held up until the Muthanas were able to provide documentation confirming that Muthana's diplomatic status was terminated prior to his daughter's birth.

Ultimately, Hoda was granted the passport, which the U.S. government subsequently renewed in 2014.

Anything else?

The lawsuit also states that if Hoda is allowed to return home, she "is prepared and willing to surrender to any charges the United States Justice Department finds appropriate and necessary."

Legal experts say if that were to occur, Hoda could be looking at spending 60 years in federal prison.

Hoda Muthana fled her home in Hoover, Alabama, in 2014 at the age of 19, and used college tuition refunds to fly abroad and join ISIS after becoming radicalized online. Her parents were unaware of their daughter's decision. She now says she regrets her actions — which included calling for the bloodshed of Americans — and is asking for a second chance from the United States.

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