Australia set to strip citizenship for 'terror' links

Australia set to strip citizenship for 'terror' links
Australia will introduce new laws this week to strip dual nationals 'linked to terrorism' of their citizenship, a decision that Australian-trained Islamic State doctor Tareq Kamleh has 'no concerns' over.
3 min read
23 June, 2015
Tareq Kamleh is believed to have left for Syria in March [Facebook]

Australia said Tuesday it will introduce new laws this week to strip dual nationals "linked to terrorism" of their citizenship, but backed away from putting the power in the hands of a single minister.

The legislation will see the Citizenship Act - which currently stipulates a person ceases to be a national if they serve in the armed forces of a country at war with Australia - expanded to include people who "fight against us in a terrorist group".

There are currently 20 such groups on the country's list of "terrorist organisations."

"If people have become terrorists, our intention as far as we humanly can is to stop them from coming back," Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters.

The announcement came as the government sought to confirm reports that two high-profile Australians fighting with the Islamic State group, Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar, were killed in the Iraqi city of Mosul in the past week.

It also follows the arrest warrant issued for Australian-trained doctor, Tareq Kamleh, who came to the attention of authorities when he appeared in an Islamic State propaganda video in April, urging other medical professionals to join him.

The police said the South Australian Joint Counter Terrorism team had obtained an arrest warrant for the 29-year-old, alleging that "he is a member of, and recruited for, a terrorist organisation" and that he entered a prohibited area under Australia's Criminal Code Act.

But Kamleh stated that he has no concerns if his citizenship is stripped.

In a open letter on his Facebook page to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which recently began moves to strip Kamleh of his medical registration, he wrote:


1. I have no concern if you cancel my registration

2. I have no concern if you cancel my passport

3. I knew where I was coming

4. I intend to stay here

5. I anticipated an arrest warrant, hence why I left in secret

6. None of the case you put forward has indicated to me a malicious character on my behalf and it is this injustice within the Australian judicial system that was a catalyst for me to leave.

Do as you please, I no longer consider myself an Australian.

The continuous bombing of civillian targets here by the coalition has done nothing but disappoint me of the country I once loved so much


Tareq Kamleh

Australia raised its threat level to "high" last September and has since carried out a series of counter-terrorism raids with alarm fuelled by the departure of dozens of Australians to fight in Iraq and Syria.

Federal police have also carried out counter-terrorism raids in the country.