Five Islamic State terrorists living in Australia have been stripped of their citizenship and banned from re-entering the country.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has revealed on Thursday the five dual-nationals including three men and two women will relinquish their citizenship after travelling to the Middle East to join the terror organisation.
“These five dual nationals have been acting against Australia’s interests by engaging with terrorism and have effectively chosen to leave the Australian community,” Mr Dutton said.
They are believed to be in their twenties and thirties and travelled to Syria and Iraq.
A total of six foreign IS fighters have now had their citizenship terminated for serving or fighting alongside a terror group.
A dual national’s Australian citizenship will automatically end if they act contrary to their allegiance to Australia by becoming involved in terrorism-related activities under section 35 of the Australian Citizenship Act.
The five join terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, who was the first person to lose his citizenship under the 2015 laws.
International laws prevent the intervention being used on sole Australian citizens.
Mr Dutton said the five had been acting in opposition to Australian interests.
“Fundamentally, citizenship requires allegiance to this country,” he said.
He expected more citizenships would be stripped from foreign fighters.
“Cessation of Australian citizenship for dual nationals involved in terrorism is a key part of Australia’s response to international violent extremism and terrorism,” Mr Dutton said.
“The government is determined to deal with foreign terrorist fighters as far from our shores as possible to ensure that if they do return it is with forewarning and into the hands of authorities.”
“Our first priority is, and will always be, the safety and security of all Australians.”