Australia has cancelled the citizenship of an Algerian-born Muslim cleric who was convicted of leading a terrorist cell that planned to bomb a football match in Melbourne in 2005, Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said on Wednesday.
Abdul Nacer Benbrika is now the first person to be stripped of his citizenship while still in Australia.
“If it’s a person who’s posing a significant terrorist threat to our country, then we’ll do whatever is possible within Australian law to protect Australians,” Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.
Benbrika was convicted on three terrorism charges. He was jailed for 15 years for directing a terrorist group, being a member of a terrorist group and possessing material associated with planning of a terrorist act.