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British-Pakistani to lose UK citizenship

Press Trust of India  |  London 

A 30-year-old Pakistani-origin man in the who works for an Islamist media group in Syria is set to lose his British citizenship for being a "risk to the national security".

Akif Razaq's family in Birmingham received a notice warning of the action by the Home Office.

The notice states that an assessment has confirmed that he "is aligned with an al-Qaeda aligned group" and that his return would "present a risk to the national security of the United Kingdom".

He will become the first person since 2015 to be deprived of his citizenship after the notice, seen by The Times, arrived on May 24.

"I was shocked, surprised and intrigued," Razaq told the newspaper via the encrypted messaging service Telegram.

"I have never seen myself as a threat to my home country and it surprised me that others would see me so. I would have thought that a solid case was required to deprive me of citizenship," he said, adding that he plans to appeal against the order.

Razaq first travelled to Syria with an aid convoy in 2013. Two years later, he joined On The Ground (OGN), a media organisation founded by Bilal Abdul Kareem, a US citizen and Muslim convert.

OGN produces video reports from rebel-held areas of Syria, often focusing on the humanitarian fallout of the conflict. OGN now operates from Idlib, the last patch of rebel-controlled territory in northern Syria.

The media organisation claims that it aims to provide "accurate English language to a western audience regarding the Syrian crisis".

The 1981 British Nationality Act grants the home secretary the right to revoke citizenship of dual nationals or naturalised British citizens if it is deemed in the public interest or they obtained their citizenship by false means.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, June 16 2017. 19:57 IST