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Australia strips Turkey-held militant suspect of citizenship

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia said Saturday it stripped a suspected militant held in Turkey of citizenship because he fought for the Islamic State group.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said that Neil Prakash was in the service of a “terrorist organization” and acted “inconsistently” with his allegiance to Australia.

He became the 12th person to be stripped of Australian citizenship because of militant links, based on a 2007 law.

“This government is determined to deal with foreign terrorist fighters as far from our shores as possible,” Dutton told News Corp Australia. “Islamic State is opposed to Australia, our interests, values, democratic beliefs, rights and liberties.”

Australia is demanding Turkey extradite Prakash, who faces allegations of inciting a terror plot in his home state of Victoria. However, the extradition will have to wait until the conclusion of Turkey’s criminal proceedings against Prakash, who is facing prison after he was arrested near the border with Syria in 2016 for allegedly attempting to enter Turkey with false documents.

Prakash has previously admitted being a member of IS but said he had nothing to do with the group in Australia.

The government says the 27-year-old is a threat to Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

The former rapper from Melbourne had featured in IS videos, has been linked to several attack plans in Australia and has urged lone wolf attacks against the United States.

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