Suspect fails in citizenship plea

A terror suspect who is believed to have fought UK and US troops in Afghanistan has failed in a bid to hold on to British citizenship.

592cde3a-4c53-11e3-a60d-0a0c02230000
A suspect linked to a group that praised the 9/11 attackers has lost his bid for British citizenship after an appeal ruling.

A terror suspect who is believed to have fought UK and US troops in Afghanistan has failed in a bid to hold on to British citizenship.

The 41-year-old, known only as Y1, is believed to have taken part in terrorist training and has links to banned Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, who praised the 9/11 bombers as "the magnificent 19".

An Afghan national who became a British citizen in 2004, the Home Secretary stripped him of his citizenship in 2011 as he was being detained by British forces in Afghanistan.

Rejecting his appeal against that decision, Mr Justice Irwin at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) said Y1's evidence had been "deliberately deceptive" and "quite incredible".

The judge added that secret material given to the court provided "absolutely conclusive evidence of the appellant's desire to engage in terrorist activity and very strong evidence of an enduring commitment to Jihadist ideas".

The terror suspect travelled to Kabul, Afghanistan, with his second wife in 2010, and they went on to Miranshah, a town in the Waziristan region of north-west Pakistan.

Y1 is believed by the Government to have engaged in extremist activity in Pakistan, court documents revealed.

He took part in training by a group called Jundullah, an arm of an al Qaida-linked group called the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

The extremist, who first arrived in the UK in 1998, is also suspected of being a member of a network of extremists and fighting against Afghan and coalition forces in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

An MI5 officer, who gave evidence against the terror suspect, said Y1 also had links to Imran Mahmood, who was jailed earlier this year for preparing acts of terrorism.

After leaving Miranshah, Y1 and his wife were held in July 2011 by UK military forces in Herat, Afghanistan.

Graham Zebedee, deputy director of the Office of Security and Counter-terrorism at the Home Office, s aid the Home Secretary had been advised by MI5 that the terror suspect "presented a substantial risk to UK national security".

But the Security Service added that there may be "more options for controlling that risk if Y1 were in the UK".

However, just before he was released by British forces, Theresa May told him he had been deprived of his citizenship and was later told he was excluded from the UK.

Mrs May told the Afghan national he was considered to be "involved in terrorism-related activities and have links to a number of Islamist extremists".

In his evidence, Y1 claimed leaflets and material he had distributed outside a mosque in Southall, west London, were not "warlike and did not glorify terror".

The suspect admitted he had encouraged Muslims not to vote in the run-up to the 2010 general election.

He told the court he had decided to move to Waziristan to "escape the problems and pressure of living in England", adding that his wife was "receiving constant public pressure as a result of her Islamic dress".

The 41-year-old claimed the activities he took part in were "survival training" in order to protect his family while living in Waziristan.

A Home Office spokesman said: "We are determined to detect and disrupt all terrorist threats and take action against those we believe pose a national security risk.

"We are pleased the court found the Home Secretary was 'fully justified' in her assessment of the threat posed by this dangerous individual, and that it was proportionate to pursue deprivation action.

"Citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and the Home Secretary will remove British citizenship from individuals where she feels it is conducive to the public good to do so."

Y1 is currently in Kenya on a three-month visitor visa.