print
memri
February 26, 2019 No.
7913

Exclusive MEMRI JTTM Reports On Social Media Accounts Of Hoda Muthana, American ISIS Member From Alabama – AKA 'Umm Jihad', Member Of ISIS All-Female Al-Khansaa Brigade – Posting Incitement To 'Go On Drive-Bys... Drive All Over' Americans At 'Veterans, Patriot, Memorial Day Parades... Kill Them' And 'We Thank You Allah... This Only Increases Us In Reward, Patience And Revenge'; She Now Says 'I'm Just As American As Any Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed Girl And I Would Like To Stay In My Country And Do American Things'

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

In the fall of 2014, Hoda Muthana, the New Jersey-born daughter of a Yemeni diplomat, who lived with her family in Hoover, Alabama and was a student at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, withdrew from the university and used the tuition reimbursement funds to travel via Turkey to Syria to join ISIS.[1] Within a month of her arrival in Syria, she married, on December 20, 23-year-old Suhan Rahman, an Australian also known as Abu Jihad al-Australi. Rahman was close to the well-known Australian ISIS fighters Mohamed Elomar and Mahmoud Abdullatif.[2]

Muthana, now known as "Umm Jihad," became a high-profile advocate for ISIS,[3] tweeting regularly from Syria in late 2014 and 2015, urging Americans to come join the jihad. On January 7, 2015, she scolded fellow Americans for failing to enlist in the ranks of jihad in Syria, tweeting: "Allahumma barik [God bless] there are sooo many Aussies and Brits here but where are the Americans, wake up u cowards."[4]

Muthana was a member of the ISIS all-female Al-Khansaa Brigade, and through them had ties to the family of the notorious Australian ISIS fighter Khaled Sharrouf.[5] The Al-Khansaa Brigade group comprised some five women, wives and widows of, inter alia, Australian ISIS fighters Mohamed Elomar and Mahmoud Abdullatif.[6] The women shared photos of themselves brandishing rifles and posing with cars, and regularly tweeted threats. In March 2015, she posed for a group photo with other members of the Al-Khansaa Brigade holding AK-47s, tweeted by her friend Umm Abdullatif, wife of Mahmoud Abdullatif, with the caption "Kikn [Kicking] It In The Khilafa."

Following her husband's death in battle in March 2015, Muthana tweeted a photo of his dead body on the battlefield, writing "May Allah accept my husband, Abu Jihad al Australi. Promised Allah and fought in the front lines until he obtained shahadah [martrydom]. And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead."[7] She also tweeted: "Terrorize the kuffar [derogatory term for non-Muslims] at home." A few days later, she tweeted instructions to Americans: "Men and women altogether. 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... Kill them."[8]

On March 18, 2015, Muthana's close friend Umm Abdullatif tweeted: "Our husbands die in frontlines but that doesn't stop women in the west from sending their husbands to kill kuffar [infidels.]" She then went on to suggest methods to kill Westerners: "Kill kuffar in alleyways, stab them and poison them. Poison your teachers. Go to haram [banned] restaurants and poison the food in large quantities."[9]

Additionally, Muthana posted on her Instagram account on March 15, 2017: "We don't love, or even like this world or anything in it... We thank you Allah for choosing us and trying us with trials for this only increases us in reward, patience and revenge."

Muthana went on to marry her second husband, a Tunisian fighter, with whom she had her son, Adam. Her husband was killed in Mosul, and she then married a Syrian fighter.[10]

 Muthana is now the only American among the 1,500 foreign women and children at the Al-Houl refugee camp in northeast Syria [11] and wants to return to the U.S.[12] However, the Obama administration determined in 2016 that she was not a U.S. citizen and that her passport was never valid to begin with, and on February 20, 2019, President Trump announced that she would not be allowed back into the country.[13]

In a February 22, 2019 NBC News interview, Muthana described herself as a former Islamic "radical" who has changed her beliefs and who deeply regrets traveling to ISIS territory, and that she had been "brainwashed" online.[14] She continued: "I know in fact that I was a citizen. When I tried filing for a passport it was very easy. It came in 10 days."

In the interview, she also said: "I'm sure there's no problem and I know my lawyer hopefully is working on it and he will win the case... I prefer [to go to the U.S.] than anywhere else... Of course I'll be given jail time."[15] She added: "I am a citizen and those papers prove it, as I'm just as American as any blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl and I would like to stay in my country and do American things."[16] Asked about her tweets urging the slaughter of Americans, she said, "It was an ideology that was really just a phase" and then said, "My lawyer told me not to speak about these things."[17]

Muthana's father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, saying that the claim that Hoda is not a citizen is unconstitutional. She is represented by Hassan Shibly,[18] who is chief executive officer of CAIR-Florida. Legal experts have said she could be sent to prison for up to 60 years if convicted on terrorist charges.[19]

MEMRI published reports on Muthana and her social media accounts beginning in 2015, and at that time provided the reports to government and media. The following are the reports.

"Syria Is Ugly, I'm Not Going To Lie": Hoda Muthana, Female American ISIS Member From Alabama, Is Active On Instagram – April 28, 2017

Hoda Muthana, a female American ISIS member from Hoover, Alabama who was formerly active on Twitter and who went to Syria in November 2014, is once again active on social media. In late 2014 and 2015, Muthana tweeted regularly, under the name "Umm Jihad." In March 2015, she tweeted a eulogy for her husband after he was killed in battle. On March 10, 2017, Hoda Muthana opened an Instagram account under the name "Muth1348." In a recent post, she referred to her husband, so it appears that she had remarried in the Islamic State. In another post, she denounced a man she said was a relative of hers for saying "God Bless America" to her, saying "May Allah destroy this taghut [tyrant]."[20]


Muthana's Instagram account

March 22, 2017: "I Was Watching An American Documentary On A Battle In Afghanistan And The Americans Are Such Cowards... These Men Cry For Their Lives While We Cry For Our Death (Shahadah [martyrdom])!"

On March 22, 2017, Muthana posted of a photo, presumably of herself, holding a gun. She wrote: "We have men (and women!) who love death as ardently as you love your lives! I was watching an American documentary on a battle in Afghanistan and the Americans are such cowards. Crying and shaking on the battlefield and saying, 'our aim is to get everyone home where they belong.' While our men's aim on the battlefield is to reunite with our Lord. Our honor is in jihad, either victory or shahadah [martyrdom]. These men cry for their lives while we cry for our death (shahadah)!"

March 15, 2017: "We Don't Love, Or Even Like This World Or Anything In It... We Thank You Allah For Choosing Us And Trying Us With Trials For This Only Increases Us In Reward, Patience And Revenge"

On March 15, Muthana posted a photo showing a handwritten document in Arabic that she said was a will that her husband had written. The will, in the form of a letter from her husband, states that he is going to fight in a battle and asks her to fear Allah, take care of his son, and to remarry in the event that he dies.

Her caption on the photo reads: "It is because of people like my father that our husband's need to write out their wills in their early 20's. Our devotion is real and we are not crazy outcast as the media says, We love and hate what Allah loves and hates. So if Allah hates those that rule by other than Him than I hate them too, so I hate my father, because I love Allah and i love everything Allah loves and hate everything Allah hates.

"The whole world doesn't seem to understand that simple equation. The fact that we don't love, or even like this world or anything in it. And we are hastening to the Next. We've given up everything to live in harsh conditions for Allah's sake, why? Simply because it's the only place we as Muslims are allowed to live in. Syria is ugly I'm not going to lie. But we are here only for Allah and we pray for patience and perseverance and we are willing to give everything even our lives for His sake. We are in the most dangerous place in the world, yet this is the most safest place to reside and you find the most content people on the globe. We thank you Allah for choosing us and trying us with trials for this only increases us in reward, patience and revenge. "

March 13, 2017: "May Allah Destroy" My Relative Who Said "God Bless America" – "You Are My Enemy"

Earlier, on March 13, Muthana posted four images of a man she stated was a relative, and wrote: "May Allah destroy this taghut [tyrant]. His last words to me were God bless America. We will never speak again and if you die upon this we will be enemies on Judgement Day. You are not my family you are my enemy, and today I expose you just how you exposed me. His name is Ahmed Muthana and he is NOT a Muslim. By Allah's definition not mine, ALLAH'S! 'And whoever doesn't rule by what Allah sent down those are they that are unbelievers'. (5:44) #Islam #baqiyah #dawlah #ISIS."

American ISIS Member Joins Women's Clique In Syria – April 22, 2015

The following report looks at a clique of female Islamic State (ISIS) members from English-speaking countries, based in Raqqah, the Islamic State's Syrian stronghold. The clique comprises at least five women, who are the wives and widows of ISIS fighters. They have distributed photos of themselves brandishing rifles and posing with cars, and issue threats on Twitter.

The women apparently share living quarters. Umm Jihad, the American member of the group, referred to her women friends as a "family." Umm Jihad's identity has been revealed; her name is Hoda Muthana, and she is a former college student from Hoover, Alabama.[21]

This report is based mostly on information collected from the Twitter accounts of an American and her Australian friend.[22]

December 2014: English-Speaking "Family" In Syria: The Al-Khansaa Brigade; Burning Passports – "No Need For These Anymore"   

The members of the group of female ISIS members have been in Syria for various periods of time. A prominent member appears to be Um Abdullatif, the widow of Australian fighter Mahmoud Abdullatif. According to a Syrian opposition source, the women are part of an ISIS female brigade, "Al-Khansaa."[23]

On December 1, 2014 Umm Jihad tweeted a photo of her American passport alongside a Canadian, British, and Australian passport, with the caption, "Bonfire soon, no need for these anymore, alhamdulilah."[24]

The women appear to spend a lot of time together. They likely live with each other or near each other and spend time together while their husbands are away on the front lines of fighting.

On December 23, 2014 Muthana tweeted that she was watching her friend UmmAbdullatif sleep, and also tweeted about how much "the ansaar feed you."

On January 7, 2015 Muthana scolded fellow U.S. citizens for failing to enlist in the ranks of jihad in Syria, tweeting: "Allahumma barik [God bless] there are sooo many Aussies and Brits here but where are the Americans, wake up u cowards."

That same day, she tweeted: "Who knew my fate would be living among a bunch of Australians, full on m8 [mate]. Love my Aussie family xo."

March 2015: "Kikn [Kicking] It In The Khilafa" With AK-47s

On March 18, 2015, Umm Abdullatif posted a photo of herself with four other women holding AK-47 rifles and posing in front of a BMW car. She wrote, "Ft. [featuring] The Sharrouf Family, me, & Umm Jihad kikn [kicking] it in the Khilafah."[25]

Several versions of these photos appear to exist; they were originally circulated amongst Australian ISIS accounts. For example an Australian fighter with the Twitter account @Peterwalker494 tweeted one in black and white, and wrote, "American and Ozzies in the Khilafah."[26]

Zaynab Sharrouf, the 14-year-old daughter of Khaled Sharrouf and the wife of Muhammad ElOmar, who goes by the nickname Umm Hafs, tweeted another photo from this moment, writing, "Chilling in the Khilafah, lovin life. #Sharrouffamily #Ummjihad #Ummabdullatif #Ummzarqawi,Ummdhukifl."[27]

One of the founders of "Raqqa Being Slaughtered Silently," an activist group that reports on Assad and ISIS crimes, claims that these women are part of the Al-Khansaa Brigade.

On March 19, Azoz Alhamza tweeted, "#Raqqah Um Abdallatif from #Australia and another fighters from Al-Khansaa brigade with AK47 and BMW 5."

March 2015: Eulogizing Husband Abu Jihad Al-Australi – Suhan Rahman

On March 18, 2015, Hoda Muthana announced her husband's death in Syria. Photos of her with Australian female ISIS members wielding Kalashnikovs in front of a BMW car was circulated amongst many ISIS accounts the same day.

Muthana was married to an Australian ISIS member, Abu Jihad, who died in battle in the Kurdish town of Kobane.

On March 18 she tweeted, "May Allah accept my husband, Abu Jihad al Australi. Promised Allah and fought in the front lines until he obtained shahadah [martrydom]."

She posted a photo of her husband's corpse on the battlefield with the text, "And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead."

The widow expressed her joy at the news of her husband's death, writing, "Alhamdullilahi rabbil alimeen [praise Allah], I'm the most content I have ever been in my life."

On March 23, UmmJihad posted a screenshot of a text message conversation she had had with her husband on March 15, 2015. She wrote, "Not that I thought he'd get those messages during battle..." Her uploaded conversation dated March 15 shows her writing, "omg heyyy we have no net. Miss u, hope everything is well inshallah. May Allah grant u what u seek."

According to her close friend Zehra Duman, aka Umm Abdullatif, Muthana's husband died fighting in Kobane. Umm Abdullatif also reveals that her husband was the best friend of Umm Jihad's husband. On March 18, she tweeted, "May Allah accept Abu Jihad Al Australi, obtained shahada in ayn al-Islam (Kobane). Reunited with my husband in Jannah [heaven], neighbors in Dunya [this life] and Akhirah [afterlife]."

Umm Abdullatif posted a photo the same day of her husband and Abu Jihad Al-Australi, with the latter holding a head in his hand. The caption reads, "lol May Allah accept them both, amen. 2 bestfriends in Jannah. Til we @ZumarulJannah[Umm Jihad] reunite with dem also."

In a conversation about their husbands' deaths, the two women express their jealousy at their men being killed while they remain alive. Muthana wrote to her friend, "How jealous are we." Umm Abdullatif responded, "Badly. Wish we could be in there position right now."

Another photo of the two husbands was making the rounds on Twitter on March 18. The Pro-ISIS account Speak Truth tweeted, "Shaheed from Melbourne. May Allah accept him. Ameen!"[28]

 

Threats And Incitement On Twitter

On March 18, Umm Abdullatif was active on Twitter and went off on a rant, presumably as a result of her friends' husband's death. She wrote, "Our husbands die in frontlines but that doesn't stop women in the west from sending their husbands to kill kuffar [infidels.]" She then went on to suggest methods to kill Westerners: "Kill kuffar in alleyways, stab them and poison them. Poison your teachers. Go to haram [banned] restaurants and poison the food in large quantities."

Umm Abdullatif's Ask.Fm Answers On Slaves

On her Ask.fm account, Umm Abdulatif fields questions on life in the Islamic State. One user asked "Do you know many sabayas [slaves]?" She replied, "I know a few. Did you know a lot of the sabayahs revert to islam after living with a Muslim here?"[29]

According to her, slaves are treated well in the Islamic State. One user asked, "How do the sabayat feel in Dawlah [ISIS]?" She answered, "Welcome. As it is a part of the Sunnah to be kind to your slaves."

[1] Vox.com/world/2019/2/22/18236309/hoda-muthana-isis-citizen-trump-pompeo, February 22, 2019; Washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-alabama-woman-who-joined-isis-will-not-be-allowed-back-into-us/2019/02/20/64be9b48-3556-11e9-a400-e481bf264fdc_story.html?utm_term=.32a60da7a1a5, February 20, 2019.

[2] Heraldsun.com.au/news/australian-traitor-suhan-rahman-wants-to-spill-blood-in-extremist-fight/news-story/f74ba44d57c76925e94666efae4f52b0, January 15, 2019.

[3] Aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/woman-deeply-regrets-joining-isil-return-home-190218081022353.html, February 18, 2019.

[4] MEMRI JTTM report American ISIS Member Joins Women's Clique In Syria, April 22, 2015.

[5] News.com.au/world/middle-east/inside-the-life-of-our-most-notorious-jihadist/news-story/b1374f050ae3b30ab00ead1a9c35d02a, February 20, 2018.

[6] Elomar, a former rising boxing star in Australia with a wife and three children in Sydney, migrated to Syria to fight with ISIS in 2013, and has been photographed holding severed heads in Al-Raqqah. He is wanted by Australian police. It was reported that he and fellow Australian Khaled Sharrouf might have appeared in an ISIS beheading video believed to have been filmed in Al-Raqqah. Elomar may also be making efforts to recruit Australians via social media. Sydney Morning Herald, March 23, 2015; Daily Mail, July 30, 2014; Reuters, July 29, 2014; 9news.com.au, February 18, 2015. On Abdullatif, see Smh.com.au/national/australian-islamic-state-fighter-mahmoud-abdullatif-killed-in-syria-says-wife-20150120-12txnp.html, January 20, 2015.

[7] MEMRI JTTM report American ISIS Member Joins Women's Clique In Syria, April 22, 2015.

[8] Vox-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/world/2019/2/22/18236309/hoda-muthana-isis-citizen-trump-pompeo? amp_js_v=0.1&usqp=mq331AQECAEoAQ%3D%3D#origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&prerenderSize=1& visibility State=prerender&paddingTop=54&p2r=0&horizontalScrolling=0&csi=1&aoh =15510477821756& viewerUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Famp%2Fs%2Fwww.vox.com%2Fplatform%2F amp%2Fworld%2F2019%2F2%2F22%2F18236 309%2Fhoda-muthana-isis-citizen-trump-pompeo&history=1& ;storage=1&cid=1&cap=swipe%2Cnavigate To%2Ccid%2Cfragment%2CreplaceUrl, February 22, 2019.

[9] Twitter.com/3z0ooz, March 19, 2015.

[10] Theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/17/us-woman-hoda-muthana-deeply-regrets-joining-isis-and-wants-return-home, February 17, 2019; Al.com/news/2019/02/who-is-hoda-muthana-alabama-woman-who-joined-isis-wants-to-come-home-with-young-son.html, February 21, 2019.

[11] Theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/17/us-woman-hoda-muthana-deeply-regrets-joining-isis-and-wants-return-home, February 17, 2019.

[12] Nbcnews.com/news/world/isis-bride-hoda-muthana-says-she-ll-have-no-problem-n974391, February 22, 2019.

[13] Politico.com, February 22, 2019.

[14] NBCnews.com/news/world/isis-bride-hoda-muthana-says-she-ll-have-no-problem-n974391, February 22, 2019.

[15] Twitter.com/NBCNightlyNews/status/1099021004200792067, February 22, 2019.

[16] NBC News, Youtube.com/watch?v=9c4-6k3oSgg, February 22, 2019.

[17] NBC News, Youtube.com/watch?v=9c4-6k3oSgg, February 22, 2019.

[18] Usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/02/22/hoda-muthana-isis-brides-family-file-lawsuit-against-trump-pompeo/2948575002/, February 22, 2019.

[19] Dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6720221/American-ISIS-bride-face-60-YEARS-jail-returns-US.html, February 19, 2019.  

[21] NYdailynews,com, April 21, 2015.

[22] MEMRI JTTM report American ISIS Member Joins Women's Clique In Syria, April 22, 2015.

[23] Twitter.com/3z0ooz, March 19, 2015.

[24] Twitter.com/ummjihad.

[25] Twitter.com/ummabdullatif.

[26] Twitter.com/peterwalker494.

[27] Twitter.com/zsharrouf.

[28] Twitter.com/speaktruth.

[29] Ask.fm/UmmAaustrali.