Concerned over terror groups recruiting expatriates in the United States of America to launch attacks against the country, a group of lawmakers today introduced a legislation in the Congress that would allow the government to revoke the citizenship of people who attack the US or its allies.
The bipartisan legislation - Terrorism Expatriation Act -- would also allow the State Department to revoke the citizenship of people who provide support to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda.
"Under the terrorist expatriation act, the State Department would be able to revoke the citizenship of an American who affiliates with a foreign terrorist organisation or who fights against our country," Senator Joe Lieberman told a press conference at the Capitol Hill today.
Foreign terrorist organisations are also designated according to statute by the US State Department.
The legislation is being introduced in the context of the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, Pakistani-American, who has been charged of terrorist activities and plotting to explode a bomb at the Times Square last Saturday.
Identical bills were introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
However, Lieberman said the legislation, when finally becomes a law, could not be applicable to Shahzad.
"This proposal if adopted cannot apply to Faisal Shahzad because that would be the retroactive application of a law, which would not be appropriate or constitutional," he said.
Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Lieberman said Shahzad is just the latest in a growing and accelerating line of cases where American citizens have supported or fought for al-Qaeda or affiliated terrorist organisations against the United States.
"The facts are now clear. Over the past several years, the threat from Islamist terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda has changed. On 9/11, 19 terrorist who were trained abroad were sent here to carry out their attacks on America.
Now, with increasing frequency, American citizens like Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood -- the alleged Fort Hood killer of 13, Abdulhakim Mohammad, who killed a US Army recruiter in Little Rock last June, and Faisal Shahzad, the accused Times Square terrorist, are inspired or recruited by violent," he noted.
US Ushers Law to Annul Citizenship of Terror Suspects
Lalit K Jha/Washington
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