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Sunday December 15th, 2019 8:48PM

The Latest: Lawyer says woman who joined IS a US citizen

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State group in Syria and now wants to return to the U.S. with her child (all times local):

8:55 p.m.

The lawyer for an Alabama woman denied return to the U.S. after joining the Islamic State group in Syria says he has evidence she's an American citizen.

U.S. officials contend that Hoda Muthana isn't a citizen and has no legal basis to travel to the U.S.

President Donald Trump says he decided to deny her return and that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agrees with that decision. Pompeo says Muthana isn't a citizen and doesn't have a valid passport.

Her lawyer, Hassan Shibly, released a copy of her birth certificate and a letter from a U.S. official indicating her father was no longer a diplomat when she was born in 1994. Shibly says Muthana had a valid U.S. passport before she joined the militant group in 2014.

___

4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is taking credit for the State Department's announcement Wednesday that an Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State group in Syria will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S.

Trump tweets: "I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!"

Pompeo announced on Wednesday that Muthana won't be allowed to enter the country with her toddler son because she is not an American citizen, a claim that was challenged by her lawyer.

Muthana is now in a refugee camp in Syria along with others who fled the Islamic State, and says she made a mistake in joining the group.

Pompeo said she has no "legal basis" to claim American citizenship. But her lawyer says the administration's position is based on a "complicated" interpretation of immigration law.

___

1:50 p.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says an Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State group in Syria is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return to the United States.

Pompeo says Hoda Muthana does not have a U.S. passport or any legal basis to enter the country.

He said on Wednesday in a statement that she "will not be admitted to the United States."

The 24-year old who joined the Islamic State after becoming radicalized says she regrets aligning herself with the terrorist organization and wants to return to the United States with her 18-month-old son.

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