A convert to Islam who was stripped of British citizenship due to his alleged religious extremism is appealing to the Supreme Court on the basis he is stateless.
The man, known only as “B2”, lost his citizenship in 2011.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May (pictured), used nationality powers to withdraw B2’s citizenship as a consequence of his alleged activity.
Under international law, it is illegal to leave a person stateless and whether B2 is will be the question for the judges to determine.
B2’s appeal comes amid debates in Parliament over proposals to ban British nationals from coming back to the UK if they are thought to have been involved in terrorism abroad.
Ms May already has the power to strip someone of their citizenship when they also hold citizenship of another country.
B2 came to the UK from Vietnam when he was 12 years old with his parents.
After six years, the family were granted British nationality.
The man studied design and communications at college and converted to Islam at the age of 21.
In her case against him, the Home Secretary cited the fact that B2 became a follower of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and that in 2010 made a trip to its base in Yemen – at the time run by American-Yemeni preacher, Anwar al-Awlaki.
Followers of AQAP have been involved in bomb plots and produce a magazine for jihadists entitled Inspire which serves to attract more recruits from the West.
Ms May stripped B2 of his nationality in 2011, alleging that he was involved in terrorist activity.
Court papers provide that MI5 assessed that the man could be an “active threat to the safety and security of the UK and its inhabitants”.
Two days after removing his nationality, Ms May served a second order providing he be deported to Vietnam. He was then –placed in detention.
B2 appealed against Ms May’s decision to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, a court dealing with cases involving national security that holds hearings in partial secrecy, arguing he had been left stateless.
The court found in favour of B2 but the Home Secretary won on appeal.
Following this and another case, Parliament was asked by the Government to amend the law in order to allow the Home Secretary to rescind a person’s citizenship of it was believed the person in question could rely on another nationality – even if they only had British citizenship at the time of rescindment.
The hearing in the Supreme Court is expected to last two days.