Australian extremist with dual nationality ‘will be stripped of his citizenship’ | Daily Mail Online

Australia’s first test case of its citizenship revocation law:

The government is preparing to prosecute an Islamic State terrorist with dual-nationality to strip them of their Australian citizenship in the first case tried under new security laws, officials claim.

It is understood the government will enforce a case against a well-known unnamed terrorist under amendments to the Citizenship Act, which was passed in December 2015, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The Citizenship Loss Board was created soon after to identify jihadis with Australian citizenship and that of at least one other country. It is understood there are more than 50 people who fit the profile.

The government is reportedly keen to pursue a test case of the controversial law.

Australian Federal Police and ASIO are believed to have recently raised concerns about the burden of proof needed under the new laws.

Officials must show the suspected terrorist is also a citizen of a new country, not that they are simply entitled to dual-citizenship – which could be difficult to prove, The Daily Telegraph reported.

A new parliamentary report published in September backed the government’s controversial plan to strip citizenship from convicted terrorists of dual nationality.

Abdul Nacer Benbrika, Mohamed Ali Elomar and Mostafa Mahamed Farag are believed to be part of an initial group of six people the government plans to boot from the country once the law is passed, the newspaper claims.

Elomar was part of a group found guilty in 2009 of planning an attack in Sydney, after he was arrested in 2005. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2010, and is also the uncle of killed ISIS fighter Mohamed Elomar.

Farag, also known as Abu Sulayman, is believed to be one of the most senior Australian terrorists fighting in the Middle East. Before leaving the country, he preached at a centre in the western Sydney suburb of Bankstown.

 The Australian government has been increasingly concerned about the flow of fighters to Iraq and Syria to join extremist groups such as Islamic State, with some 110 Australians reportedly fighting in the region as of last year. As many as 45 have died in the conflict.

The Attorney-General George Brandis said at the time the law passed that they will not render individuals stateless, but will apply in ‘very limited circumstances’.

They cover people who engage in terrorist acts, including training, recruitment and finance, and are convicted of a terrorist offence and sentenced to at least six years in jail.

Those who fight for a declared terrorist group also automatically lose their citizenship.

‘Dual nationals who engage in terrorism are betraying their allegiance to this country and do not deserve to be Australian citizens,’ Mr Brandis said.

Source: Australian extremist with dual nationality ‘will be stripped of his citizenship’ | Daily Mail Online

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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