Australian Home Minister Peter Dutton said that an Algerian-born Muslim cleric had been stripped of citizenship for “leading a terrorist cell that planned to plant a bomb at a soccer match in Melbourne in 2005.”
“If someone poses a major terrorist threat to our country, we will do everything possible within the framework of Australian law to protect Australians,” Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.
Abdel Nasser bin Barika was convicted on three counts of terrorism. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for leading a terrorist group, belonging to a terrorist group and possession of materials related to planning a terrorist act.
Ben Barika is still being held in an Australian prison despite the end of his sentence. Australian law permits the continued imprisonment of any convict on terrorism charges for three years after the end of his sentence.
Bin Barikas lawyers have challenged his continued detention. They have 90 days to challenge the cancellation of his visa and his return to Algeria.
Abdel Nasser bin Barika became the first person to be stripped of his nationality while he was still in Australia.
Australian law does not allow a person to be stripped of their citizenship unless they have another nationality.
In 2019, Australia revoked the citizenship of Neil Prakash, whom it accused of recruiting fighters for the “ISIS” organization, who is currently being held in Turkey. Australia claimed that he had Fijian citizenship, but the authorities there denied this, which strained relations between the two countries.