The federal government revoked the citizenship of Abdul Nacer Benbrika, one of Australia’s most notorious terrorists, ahead of his expected release from a Victorian country prison.
Benbrika was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2008 for his role in an attack on a number of targets in Victoria and New South Wales.
« I have revoked the Australian citizenship of convicted terrorist Benbrika, making me the first person to lose my citizenship on land, » he said.
« He has been notified of the loss of citizenship and will remain in prison pending an injunction. «
Last year, the intelligence services raised concerns about the government’s powers, saying that removing convicted or suspected terrorists of their citizenship could result in unintended consequences.
But Mr Dutton said the government is doing what it thinks « appropriate » to protect Australians from the threat posed by Benbrika.
« In this case, he was talking about thousands upon thousands of Australians being killed, which is what he advocated at the time, » he said.
« It doesn’t matter who it is. If it is a person who poses a significant terrorist threat to our country, we will do all we can under Australian law to protect Australians. « .
Benbrika herself was convicted of deliberately being a member of a terrorist organization and of deliberately directing the activities of a terrorist organization.
The government is currently attempting to detain the Algerian-born clergyman in Barwon Prison in Victoria after completing his sentence.
It has been applied to the Commonwealth Victorian Court under Commonwealth Law that allows individuals convicted of terrorist offenses to be held for up to three years after their term ends.
A supreme court in the state or territory is required to issue a Continuing Detention Order (CDO) requested by the Home Secretary.
Mr Dutton said he would not comment on the status of the government’s motion as it would in court.
« The Commonwealth has made its position very clear about the risk Benbrika poses to the Australian public, » he said.
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AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
Terrorism, Citizenship, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, Peter Dutton
World News – AU – Extremist jailed for leading terrorist cell has revoked Australian citizenship
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