In a first, Australian authorities have stripped an Islamic State (Isis) fighter of his citizenship under the 2015 anti-terrorism laws, the Immigration ministry said on Saturday, 11 February. The law allows the country to strip dual nationals of their citizenship if found guilty of having links to banned militant groups and activities.
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed the news to Australian Associated Press, but declined to reveal the name of the individual.
The Australian reported that the IS (Daesh) fighter is Khaled Sharrouf, who became known after he and his son were pictured carrying severed head of a Syrian soldier in 2014.
Sharrouf's Australian citizenship was cancelled earlier in 2017 by a secret panel of intelligence officers, police, bureaucrats and lawyers, news.co.au quoted the Australian as saying.
The IS operative – the son of Lebanese migrants – also carries a citizenship of his native country and will now have to rely on it to travel out of Syria, according to the news daily. He had travelled to IS-infested Syria in late 2013 with his friend and fellow Sydney man Mohamed Elomar. Some unconfirmed reports of his death had surfaced in 2015.
His deceased wife, Tara Nettleton, had also moved to Syria from Australia with their five children. The whereabout of the children is reportedly unknown.
Sharrouf had attracted the attention of international media in 2014 when images surfaced of himself and his young son posing with a severed head of a Syrian government official.