Judge rejects effort to speed up case of US-born woman who joined ISIS

Judge rejects effort to speed up case of US-born woman who joined ISIS
© ABC News

A federal judge on Monday ruled against a request to speed up consideration of a case involving an Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2014 and is seeking to return to the U.S.

The New York Times reported that U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton declined to hurry along the process in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Hoda Muthana. He ruled that arguments Muthana faced irreparable harm if the case was delayed were not sufficient for speeding the case up.

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Walton did, however, provide an indication he viewed favorably Muthana's argument that she is an American citizen, the Times reported, a break with the government's view of the matter.

Muthana left Alabama in 2014, telling her family she was going to Atlanta for a school trip, according to AL.com. She traveled to Turkey from Atlanta and then crossed the border into Syria. She went on to spread ISIS's ideology on social media and recruit for the organization.

She later surrendered to coalition forces fighting ISIS and said last month she hoped to return home to the U.S.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget Tensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Overnight Defense: Iran tensions swirl as officials prepare to brief Congress | Trump threatens war would be 'end of Iran' | Graham tells Trump to 'stand firm' | Budget talks begin MORE said late last month that Muthana will not be allowed to return to the U.S.

“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) has suggested Muthana should be brought back to the U.S. to face justice.