Man stripped of British citizenship because of al-Qaeda links re-enters UK illegally

Home Secretary Theresa May
Home Secretary Theresa May

A man whose British citizenship was removed by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, because of his alleged links to Al-Qaeda has come back to the UK, involving the government in legal wrangles to remove him.

The man, known as M2, was able to return using an Afghan passport before he was caught.

He is being held under strict bail and ministers face a lengthy legal battle to get rid of him, The Guardian and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism report.

The Home Secretary can strip dual nationals of their British citizenship as well as some foreign-born Britons she thinks pose a national security risk.

Twenty-eight people have lost their citizenship since 2010 in this way, with the Home Secretary normally revoking citizenship while the individual is out of the country.

But M2 was able to sit in the public gallery of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) last month where he is appealing Ms May’s decision.

Similar to other such orders, a substantial amount of the government’s evidence was presented in closed court – meaning it was kept secret from M2, his lawyers and the public.

M2 disputes that he was acting as a courier for Al-Qaeda as the government claims.

His citizenship was revoked while on a trip to Afghanistan last year, which he claims was a family visit.

He also visited in 2013.

The government said he intended to take an iPhone and laptop to the organisation but gave them to his brother and a local doctor at Kabul airport after he changed his mind.

He was deprived of citizenship in Afghanistan and was told by a counter-terrorism official that he would need to apply for a visa to return to the UK.

But as he still had the words “indefinite leave to remain” stamped on his passport he was able to come back to the UK via Pakistan.

He was treated as entering the UK illegally and was consequently placed in a detention centre but was freed at a bail hearing in December.

M2 wears an electronic tag and is not permitted to speak to anyone who is not approved by the Home Office.

He can also only leave the house at certain times.

A Home Office spokesman said: “It would be inappropriate to comment while legal proceedings are ongoing.”

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