Australia plans to strip native-born terrorists of citizenship
SYDNEY: Australia unveiled a radical plan yesterday to strip convicted terrorists of citizenship even if they are native-born Australians.
Acting after several jihadist-inspired plots and attacks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government needed expanded powers to withdraw citizenship from anyone found guilty of terrorist activity.
"People who commit acts of terrorism have rejected absolutely everything that this country stands for," Mr Morrison said. "This is something that can't be tolerated, and for those who would engage in this sort of activity and they have citizenship elsewhere, or we have reason to believe they do, they can go."
Australia's Citizenship Act allows the authorities to revoke citizenship from people jailed for six years or more for terrorist activities, but only if they are already dual nationals.
Mr Morrison called these limits "unrealistic" and said the law should be broadened so that anyone convicted of a terrorist offence, even native-born Australians, could be expelled if they could "reasonably" be expected to gain citizenship in another country through their parents or grandparents.
Mr Morrison's action came two days after police in Melbourne arrested three Australian-born men of Turkish descent for allegedly plotting a mass shooting in the city.
Less than two weeks earlier, another man who was born in Somalia but came to Australia with his family as a child, went on a stabbing rampage in Melbourne, killing one man and wounding two others before being fatally shot by police.
There had been seven terror-related attacks in Australia while the authorities had thwarted 15 other plots since 2014. - AFP