By Francesca Merlo
Australia says it has stripped a suspected so-called Islamic State militant of citizenship. 27-year-old Neil Prakash becomes the 12th person to be stripped of Australian citizenship as a consequence of their militant links.
Having converted from Buddhism to Islam in 2012, Prakash featured in Islamic State videos and has previously admitted to being a member of the so-called Islamic State, though he claims to have “nothing to do” with the group in Australia.
The government, however, says the 27-year-old is a threat to Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, told news agencies that the "Islamic State is opposed to Australia, their interests, values, democratic beliefs, rights and liberties." He stated: "This government is determined to deal with foreign terrorist fighters as far from our shores as possible".
Extradition from Turkey
Australia has demanded that Turkey extradite Prakash to stand trial in Australia for “being a member of ISIS, recruitment of others and being involved in the plotting to ‘massacre’ crowds and behead police at an Anzac Day commemoration in Melbourne in 2015”.
However, the extradition will have to wait until the conclusion of Turkey's criminal proceedings against Prakash.
Prakash is currently facing a prison sentence in Turkey, after being arrested near the border with Syria in 2016 for allegedly attempting to enter Turkey with false documents.
The Melbourne-born rapper has been linked to several attack plans in Australia and has urged independent attacks against the United States.