More than 100 Australians fighting in the Middle East with Islamic State (IS) could be the first to have their passports cancelled under laws passed by the government last year.
Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Friday that a “Citizenship Loss Board” had determined that 110 Australians were currently fighting in the Middle East, and they would have their citizenships revoked if proven to have joined the terrorist outfit.
Dutton said each case would be handled individually and “carefully” with the individuals who pose the most risk to Australian citizens to be stripped first.
“This means there could potentially be more than 100 individuals who may be captured by the provisions introduced last year,” Dutton told News Corp on Friday.
“I have asked the Citizenship Loss Board to prioritize a number of submissions based on known individuals who may present a particular risk to the Australian community.”
News Corp reported the government could be cancelling the passports and citizenship of the jihadis within the next three months.
Last year, measures were introduced by the government, which said any dual national Australian citizen who traveled to terror hotspots and was found to be supporting terrorist groups would have their Australian citizenship revoked.
Dutton said the Citizenship Loss Board would determine whether or not any of the Australian citizens in the Middle East had engaged in illegal conduct.
The government believes a number of Australians with IS are dual nationals with nations such as Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and possibly Britain.