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Trump Administration Says US-Born Jihadist Can’t Return

The United States said Wednesday that it would refuse to take back a U.S.-born Islamic State propagandist who wants to return from Syria, arguing that she is no longer a citizen. 

 

The Trump administration’s refusal to admit Hoda Muthana, 24, could set precedent and face legal challenges, because it is generally extremely difficult to lose US citizenship. 

 

“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “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,” he added. 

Pompeo did not elaborate on the legal rationale for why the Alabama native, who is believed to have traveled to Syria on her U.S. passport, was not considered a citizen or where she should go instead. 

 

Pompeo’s statement on Muthana — one of the comparatively few U.S.-born jihadists amid the hundreds of Europeans to have joined the ranks of the Islamic State group in Syria — is at odds with his calls on other countries to take back and prosecute their own jihadist nationals. 

 

Just this weekend, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to chastise European allies who have not taken back IS prisoners caught in Syria. 

US-born, then radicalized

Muthana was born in the United States to parents from Yemen who became naturalized American citizens, according to the Counter Extremism Project at George Washington University, which has identified 64 Americans who went to join IS in Syria or Iraq. 

 

In late 2014, shortly after moving to Syria, Muthana posted on Twitter a picture of herself and three other women who appeared to torch their Western passports, including an American one. 

 

She went on to write vivid calls over social media to kill Americans, glorifying the ruthless extremist group that for a time ruled vast swaths of Syria and Iraq. 

 

But with IS down to its last stretch of land, Muthana has said she renounced extremism and wanted to return home. 

 

Muthana, who has been detained by U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters, said that she had been brainwashed by reading social media as a closeted teenager in Hoover, Ala. 

 

“To say that I regret my past words, any pain that I caused my family and any concerns I would cause my country would be hard for me to really express properly,” she said in a note to her lawyer reported by The New York Times.  

She was married three times to male jihadists and has a toddler son. 

Hard to lose citizenship

The U.S. decision on Muthana comes amid rising debate in Europe on the nationality of extremists. Britain recently revoked the citizenship of Shamina Begum, who similarly traveled to Syria and wants to return to her country of birth. 

 

Britain asserted that she was entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship because of her heritage, but the Dhaka government on Wednesday denied that she was eligible, leading her to become effectively stateless. 

 

U.S. citizenship is significantly more difficult to lose. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868 after the Civil War as slavery was abolished, establishes that anyone born in the country is a citizen with full rights. 

 

In recent years, it has been considered virtually impossible to strip Americans of citizenship, even if they hold dual nationality. 

 

The U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 1967 Afroyim decision rejected the government’s attempt to revoke the nationality of a Polish-born naturalized American after he voted in Israel. 

 

And last year a federal judge rejected a government attempt to strip the nationality of a Pakistani-born naturalized American who was convicted in a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. 

 

But Trump has campaigned on a hard line over immigration and raised the prospect of ending birthright citizenship ahead of last year’s congressional elections. 

 

In 2011, President Barack Obama ordered drone strikes that killed two Americans in Yemen — prominent al-Qaida preacher Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son — but did not believe it was possible to revoke citizenship.

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Trump Administration Says US-Born Jihadist Can’t Return

The United States said Wednesday that it would refuse to take back a U.S.-born Islamic State propagandist who wants to return from Syria, arguing that she is no longer a citizen. 

 

The Trump administration’s refusal to admit Hoda Muthana, 24, could set precedent and face legal challenges, because it is generally extremely difficult to lose US citizenship. 

 

“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “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,” he added. 

Pompeo did not elaborate on the legal rationale for why the Alabama native, who is believed to have traveled to Syria on her U.S. passport, was not considered a citizen or where she should go instead. 

 

Pompeo’s statement on Muthana — one of the comparatively few U.S.-born jihadists amid the hundreds of Europeans to have joined the ranks of the Islamic State group in Syria — is at odds with his calls on other countries to take back and prosecute their own jihadist nationals. 

 

Just this weekend, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to chastise European allies who have not taken back IS prisoners caught in Syria. 

US-born, then radicalized

Muthana was born in the United States to parents from Yemen who became naturalized American citizens, according to the Counter Extremism Project at George Washington University, which has identified 64 Americans who went to join IS in Syria or Iraq. 

 

In late 2014, shortly after moving to Syria, Muthana posted on Twitter a picture of herself and three other women who appeared to torch their Western passports, including an American one. 

 

She went on to write vivid calls over social media to kill Americans, glorifying the ruthless extremist group that for a time ruled vast swaths of Syria and Iraq. 

 

But with IS down to its last stretch of land, Muthana has said she renounced extremism and wanted to return home. 

 

Muthana, who has been detained by U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters, said that she had been brainwashed by reading social media as a closeted teenager in Hoover, Ala. 

 

“To say that I regret my past words, any pain that I caused my family and any concerns I would cause my country would be hard for me to really express properly,” she said in a note to her lawyer reported by The New York Times.  

She was married three times to male jihadists and has a toddler son. 

Hard to lose citizenship

The U.S. decision on Muthana comes amid rising debate in Europe on the nationality of extremists. Britain recently revoked the citizenship of Shamina Begum, who similarly traveled to Syria and wants to return to her country of birth. 

 

Britain asserted that she was entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship because of her heritage, but the Dhaka government on Wednesday denied that she was eligible, leading her to become effectively stateless. 

 

U.S. citizenship is significantly more difficult to lose. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868 after the Civil War as slavery was abolished, establishes that anyone born in the country is a citizen with full rights. 

 

In recent years, it has been considered virtually impossible to strip Americans of citizenship, even if they hold dual nationality. 

 

The U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 1967 Afroyim decision rejected the government’s attempt to revoke the nationality of a Polish-born naturalized American after he voted in Israel. 

 

And last year a federal judge rejected a government attempt to strip the nationality of a Pakistani-born naturalized American who was convicted in a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. 

 

But Trump has campaigned on a hard line over immigration and raised the prospect of ending birthright citizenship ahead of last year’s congressional elections. 

 

In 2011, President Barack Obama ordered drone strikes that killed two Americans in Yemen — prominent al-Qaida preacher Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son — but did not believe it was possible to revoke citizenship.

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France to Adopt International Definition of Anti-Semitism

The French government will adopt an international organization’s definition of anti-Semitism and propose a law to reduce hate speech from being circulated online, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.

Macron, speaking at the annual dinner of a Jewish organization, said France and other parts of Europe have seen in recent years “a resurgence of anti-Semitism that is probably unprecedented since World War II.”

Macron said applying the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance would help guide police forces, magistrates and teachers in their daily work.

Since the intergovernmental organization approved the wording in 2016, some critics of Israel have said it could be used suppress Palestinian rights activists. The definition states anti-Semitism can take the form of “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Macron said he thinks that view is correct.

“Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism,” the French leader said in Paris at the dinner of Jewish umbrella organization CRIF. “Behind the negation of Israel’s existence, what is hiding is the hatred of Jews.”

Macron mentioned anti-Semitism based on “radical Islamism” as a rampant ideology in France’s multi-ethnic, poor neighborhoods.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation at France’s adoption of the international definition of anti-Semitism, in a phone call with the French leader ahead of the speech, Netanyahu’s office said.

Social media

Macron also said his party would introduce legislation in parliament in May to force social media to withdraw hate speech posted online and use all available means to identify the authors “as quickly as possible.”

He especially denounced Twitter as waiting days, sometimes weeks, to remove hate content and to help authorities so a judicial investigation can be led. At the same time, he praised Facebook’s decision last year to allow the presence of French regulators inside the company to help improving practices combating online hate speech.

Anti-Semitism

Macron’s speech came a day after thousands of people attended rallies across France to decry an uptick in anti-Semitic acts in recent months. On Tuesday morning, about 80 gravestones spray-painted with swastikas were discovered in a cemetery in a small village of eastern France.

Macron observed a moment of silence Tuesday with parliament leaders at the Holocaust museum in Paris.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Wednesday that a man has been arrested over a torrent of hate speech directed at Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during a Saturday march by yellow vest protesters. The insults included words like “Zionist!” and “Go back to Tel Aviv!” and “We are France!”

The man was taken into custody Tuesday evening after a police inquiry was opened into a suspected public insult based on origin, ethnicity, nation, race or religion.

The government last week reported a rise in incidents of anti-Semitism last year: 541 registered incidents, up 74 percent from the 311 registered in 2017.

In other incidents this month, swastika graffiti was found on street portraits of Simone Veil, a survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who died in 2017, the word “Juden” was painted on the window of a bagel restaurant in Paris and two trees planted at a memorial honoring a young Jewish man tortured to death in 2006 were vandalized.

“That’s our failure,” Macron said. “The time has come to act.”

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France to Adopt International Definition of Anti-Semitism

The French government will adopt an international organization’s definition of anti-Semitism and propose a law to reduce hate speech from being circulated online, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.

Macron, speaking at the annual dinner of a Jewish organization, said France and other parts of Europe have seen in recent years “a resurgence of anti-Semitism that is probably unprecedented since World War II.”

Macron said applying the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance would help guide police forces, magistrates and teachers in their daily work.

Since the intergovernmental organization approved the wording in 2016, some critics of Israel have said it could be used suppress Palestinian rights activists. The definition states anti-Semitism can take the form of “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Macron said he thinks that view is correct.

“Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism,” the French leader said in Paris at the dinner of Jewish umbrella organization CRIF. “Behind the negation of Israel’s existence, what is hiding is the hatred of Jews.”

Macron mentioned anti-Semitism based on “radical Islamism” as a rampant ideology in France’s multi-ethnic, poor neighborhoods.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation at France’s adoption of the international definition of anti-Semitism, in a phone call with the French leader ahead of the speech, Netanyahu’s office said.

Social media

Macron also said his party would introduce legislation in parliament in May to force social media to withdraw hate speech posted online and use all available means to identify the authors “as quickly as possible.”

He especially denounced Twitter as waiting days, sometimes weeks, to remove hate content and to help authorities so a judicial investigation can be led. At the same time, he praised Facebook’s decision last year to allow the presence of French regulators inside the company to help improving practices combating online hate speech.

Anti-Semitism

Macron’s speech came a day after thousands of people attended rallies across France to decry an uptick in anti-Semitic acts in recent months. On Tuesday morning, about 80 gravestones spray-painted with swastikas were discovered in a cemetery in a small village of eastern France.

Macron observed a moment of silence Tuesday with parliament leaders at the Holocaust museum in Paris.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Wednesday that a man has been arrested over a torrent of hate speech directed at Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during a Saturday march by yellow vest protesters. The insults included words like “Zionist!” and “Go back to Tel Aviv!” and “We are France!”

The man was taken into custody Tuesday evening after a police inquiry was opened into a suspected public insult based on origin, ethnicity, nation, race or religion.

The government last week reported a rise in incidents of anti-Semitism last year: 541 registered incidents, up 74 percent from the 311 registered in 2017.

In other incidents this month, swastika graffiti was found on street portraits of Simone Veil, a survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who died in 2017, the word “Juden” was painted on the window of a bagel restaurant in Paris and two trees planted at a memorial honoring a young Jewish man tortured to death in 2006 were vandalized.

“That’s our failure,” Macron said. “The time has come to act.”

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US Sanctions Indian National, Declaring Him a Drug Trafficker 

The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Indian national Jasmeet Hakimzada, declaring him a major foreign drug trafficker. 

Six other people and entities were also sanctioned, including Hakimzada’s parents, who allegedly help him run his operation.

“Jasmeet Hakimzada’s global drug trafficking and money laundering network has been involved in smuggling heroin and synthetic opioids around the world,” a senior Treasury Department official said.

Hakimzada lives in the United Arab Emirates. He is accused of running a worldwide drug trafficking ring that smuggles heroin, cocaine, opioids and other substances into the United States, Australia, Britain and New Zealand.

Treasury said he has laundered hundreds of millions of dollars through a trading company in the UAE.

A U.S. federal grand jury indicted Hakimzada in 2017 on 46 counts of drug trafficking and money laundering. 

Under the sanctions, all of Hakimzada’s assets in the U.S. are frozen and U.S. citizens are barred from doing any business with him. 

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US Sanctions Indian National, Declaring Him a Drug Trafficker 

The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Indian national Jasmeet Hakimzada, declaring him a major foreign drug trafficker. 

Six other people and entities were also sanctioned, including Hakimzada’s parents, who allegedly help him run his operation.

“Jasmeet Hakimzada’s global drug trafficking and money laundering network has been involved in smuggling heroin and synthetic opioids around the world,” a senior Treasury Department official said.

Hakimzada lives in the United Arab Emirates. He is accused of running a worldwide drug trafficking ring that smuggles heroin, cocaine, opioids and other substances into the United States, Australia, Britain and New Zealand.

Treasury said he has laundered hundreds of millions of dollars through a trading company in the UAE.

A U.S. federal grand jury indicted Hakimzada in 2017 on 46 counts of drug trafficking and money laundering. 

Under the sanctions, all of Hakimzada’s assets in the U.S. are frozen and U.S. citizens are barred from doing any business with him. 

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Луценко про «Новое время»: не йдеться про ущемлення журналістської діяльності

Генеральний прокурор Юрій Луценко заявляє, що в ситуації з вимогою ГПУ доступу до внутрішніх документів видання «Новое время» не йдеться про «жодне ущемлення журналістської діяльності». Про це він сказав 20 лютого на брифінгу. Фрагмент відео у Facebook оприлюднила журналістка Альона Лунькова.

За словами генпрокурора, йдеться лише про «прохання надати інформацію».

«Якщо хтось із журналістів вважає такі дії такими, що перешкоджають здійсненню журналістської діяльності, прошу дуже: можете звернутися або до мене безпосередньо, або письмово, і ми обов’язково знайдемо оптимальний шлях», – сказав Луценко.

Він додав, що слідство «інколи потребує даних, які публікують журналісти».

«Не для того, щоб розслідувати роль журналістів, а для того, щоб виявляти витоки всередині правоохоронних органів, а також інколи отримувати невідомі слідству факти. І тоді ми не маємо іншого варіанту, як звертатися із проханням надати інформацію від ЗМІ. І не більше того. Ні про які наслідки для журналістів або видань не йдеться взагалі», – сказав генпрокурор.

«Я, як колишній журналіст, можу вам гарантувати, що жоден журналіст і жодне видання, крім тих, які пропагандують антидержавну діяльність і підтримують кремлівську практику, в Україні за мою каденцію не потерпіли і не потерплять», – наголосив він.

«Новое время» заявляє, що Генеральна прокуратура України вимагає доступ до внутрішніх документів редакції.

За словами журналістів, 4 лютого Печерський районний суд Києва дав дозвіл Генеральній прокуратурі на доступ до внутрішніх документів редакції «Новое время» і до всіх матеріалів, які надсилав на емейл-адреси видання журналіст Іван Верстюк. 13 лютого слідчий ГПУ вручив цю постанову редакції.

Читайте також: Журналісти вимагають терміново розглянути в Раді дії ГПУ щодо журналу «Новое время»

У Генпрокуратурі пояснили, що доступ до внутрішніх документів редакції видання «Новое время» потрібний через «розголошення матеріалів досудового розслідування».

Дії ГПУ розкритикували також міжнародний «Комітет захисту журналістів» (CPJ) і ОБСЄ. А українські медіаексперти та юристи розцінили дії ГПУ щодо видання як «посягання на свободу преси».

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Луценко про «Новое время»: не йдеться про ущемлення журналістської діяльності

Генеральний прокурор Юрій Луценко заявляє, що в ситуації з вимогою ГПУ доступу до внутрішніх документів видання «Новое время» не йдеться про «жодне ущемлення журналістської діяльності». Про це він сказав 20 лютого на брифінгу. Фрагмент відео у Facebook оприлюднила журналістка Альона Лунькова.

За словами генпрокурора, йдеться лише про «прохання надати інформацію».

«Якщо хтось із журналістів вважає такі дії такими, що перешкоджають здійсненню журналістської діяльності, прошу дуже: можете звернутися або до мене безпосередньо, або письмово, і ми обов’язково знайдемо оптимальний шлях», – сказав Луценко.

Він додав, що слідство «інколи потребує даних, які публікують журналісти».

«Не для того, щоб розслідувати роль журналістів, а для того, щоб виявляти витоки всередині правоохоронних органів, а також інколи отримувати невідомі слідству факти. І тоді ми не маємо іншого варіанту, як звертатися із проханням надати інформацію від ЗМІ. І не більше того. Ні про які наслідки для журналістів або видань не йдеться взагалі», – сказав генпрокурор.

«Я, як колишній журналіст, можу вам гарантувати, що жоден журналіст і жодне видання, крім тих, які пропагандують антидержавну діяльність і підтримують кремлівську практику, в Україні за мою каденцію не потерпіли і не потерплять», – наголосив він.

«Новое время» заявляє, що Генеральна прокуратура України вимагає доступ до внутрішніх документів редакції.

За словами журналістів, 4 лютого Печерський районний суд Києва дав дозвіл Генеральній прокуратурі на доступ до внутрішніх документів редакції «Новое время» і до всіх матеріалів, які надсилав на емейл-адреси видання журналіст Іван Верстюк. 13 лютого слідчий ГПУ вручив цю постанову редакції.

Читайте також: Журналісти вимагають терміново розглянути в Раді дії ГПУ щодо журналу «Новое время»

У Генпрокуратурі пояснили, що доступ до внутрішніх документів редакції видання «Новое время» потрібний через «розголошення матеріалів досудового розслідування».

Дії ГПУ розкритикували також міжнародний «Комітет захисту журналістів» (CPJ) і ОБСЄ. А українські медіаексперти та юристи розцінили дії ГПУ щодо видання як «посягання на свободу преси».

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