The Minister of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton announced on August 9 that the citizenship of five individuals who were dual nationals were revoked due to their association with ISIS terrorists.
The ISIS terrorist group “is opposed to Australia, its people and its democratic rights and privileges,” Dutton stated in an interview. “Fundamentally, citizenship requires allegiance to this country.”
Section 35 of the Australian Citizenship Act indicates that “A person aged 14 or older ceases to be an Australian citizen if the person fights for, or is in the service of a declared terrorist organization.” In May 2016, ISIS has been declared a terrorist organization in Australia.
Minister Dutton said that these five individuals who are in their 20s and 30s were proven to be involved with Islamic State offshore. He did not reveal their identities.
The Sydney-born ISIS fighter Khaled Sharrouf was the first dual national to have his Australian citizenship revoked in 2017. He became known after he posted online, a photo of his seven year old son holding a severed head of a Syrian soldier.
“Cessation of Australian citizenship for dual nationals involved in terrorism is a key part of Australia’s response to international violent extremism and terrorism,” Dutton stated.
“The Government is determined to deal with foreign terrorist fighters as far from our shores as possible to ensure that if they do return it is with forewarning and into the hands of authorities.”
“The determination of the Government is to try and keep Australia as safe as possible and we do that by keeping these people far from our shores so if we can deal with foreign fighters away from our shores we do that,” he told the radio station.
“If people are coming back here armed with all that knowledge it does provide a significant security risk to Australian citizens so we are very keen to neutralize that wherever we can.”