Revealed: The ‘quiet’ Alabama student radicalized online who fled her family to become an ISIS bride. Now she’s radicalizing other Americans into carrying out ‘drive-by’ terror attacks on U.S. soil.
- Hoda Muthana, 20, left Hoover, Alabama, to join extremists in Raqqa, Syria
- Business student tricked her family to escape them and fly to Middle East
- Told how she was helped to plan escape by jihadists she met online
- Cashed in money meant for college courses to pay for her flight
An American college student who abandoned the west to wage holy war in Syria has told how she lied to her family and cashed in her tuition money to flee the West.
Hoda Muthana, 20, spoke out about her decision to ditch her life as a college student in Hoover, Alabama, after being persuaded by terrorists that it was her duty as a Muslim.
Mu Muthana, who lived with her moderate Muslim family until she fled to Raqqa, Syria, revealed her path to terror in an interview with BuzzFeed News.
She told reporter Ellie Hall that she conspired for months with other jihadists to hatch a plan to flee her parents, who kept a strict watch over her and her sister. Muthana was not named in full by Buzzfeed, but her identity was revealed on Monday by the Birmingham News. After a year of planning, she fled in November, spending money meant for college tuition on a flight to Turkey. From there she fled to Syria and, after a month, married an Australian jihadist who was reportedly since been killed in an airstrike by the Jordanian military.
Despite please from her family to come home, Muthana is resolute and claims it is the duty of all true Muslims to join her and wage war on the West.
Her father told BuzzFeed: ‘I believe she been brainwashed. She’s not that kind of girl. They brainwashed her.’ During the interview, Muthana revealed how she escaped her strict family, who normally kept a close eye on both their daughters.
She said she enrolled on extra courses at the University of Alabama, where she studied business, then promptly dropped them to cash in the refund checks. Eventually she persuaded her family to let her go to Atlanta, Georgia, for the day for a field trip – which they would usually be reluctant to do. On the day of the trip she said she had caught the wrong bus home and was stuck in the city – which is when she caught her flight to the Middle East. Her panicked family went to look for her, but soon got a follow-up call from Muthana, then in Turkey, revealing her scheme to leave. According to a high school friend who spoke to the Birmingham News, Muthana was a ‘quiet’ girl ‘who kept to herself’.
Jordan LaPorta, who went to Hoover High School with her until they graduated in 2013, added: ‘I don’t think anybody saw this in her.’ Muthana herself confessed that she had given up on all her American friends by the time she decided to leave.
Instead, she conferred with jihadists online, and posted messages inciting fellow American Muslims to murder their countrymen. In one Tweet from a now-deactivated account with the title Umm Jihadi, she wrote: ‘You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! ‘Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades..go on drive by’s + spill all of their blood or rent a big truck n drive all over them. Kill them.’ [sic] Her family noticed her increased devotion to her religion, but assumed she was simply becoming a more ardent follower of the peaceful strain of the religion which they observe. As Muthana observed: ‘They liked the change until they saw me getting “jihadi”.’
According to Muthana’s father, the FBI is investigating his daughter – but the agency said its policy is not to confirm or deny any activity.