The U.S. citizenship of a confessed Al Qaeda operative was revoked Thursday by a federal judge, according to the Department of Justice.
Khaled Abu al-Dahab, who claims to have been personally congratulated by Osama bin Laden and run a communications hub with Al Qaeda from his California home, was ordered to surrender his Certificate of Naturalization to federal authorities immediately.
The action stripped him of his citizenship and restrained him from claiming any rights, privileges or advantages previously afforded him as a U.S. citizen.
The Egyptian-born naturalized U.S. citizen was formerly a car salesman in Silicon Valley.
“The Justice Department is committed to the protection our nation’s national security and will aggressively pursue denaturalization of known or suspected terrorists,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “This case demonstrates the Department’s commitment to using all tools at its disposal, both criminally and civilly, to strategically enforce our nation’s immigration laws and to disrupt international terrorism.”
The order came after a 2015 civil action filed by the United States sought the revocation on the contention that Dahab “illegally procured his citizenship” based on false testimony given during his naturalization proceedings.
The Immigration and Nationality Act states that a naturalized U.S. citizen can lose their status if the naturalization was “illegally procured or procured by concealment of a material fact or by willful misrepresentation.”
Dahab was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in February 1997, but left the country in 1998 and was arrested in Egypt where he is currently serving 15 years in prison for terrorism-related crimes.
According to Fox News, “Dahab admitted to recruiting Islamic Americans into Al Qaeda during his 12-year residence in California and told investigators that Usama bin Laden was eager to recruit American citizens of middle eastern descent because their U.S. passports could be used to facilitate international travel by Al Qaeda terrorists.”
Dahab told investigators that bin Laden “personally congratulated him for his work.”
Fox News also reported in addition to Al Qaeda, “Dahab told the FBI that he operated a communications hub for the terrorist organization Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) out of his Santa Clara, Calif., apartment, where he materially assisted in terrorist attacks in Egypt and Pakistan by facilitating the transfer of fraudulent passports, documents, money and other items among EIJ members.”
The Department of Justice reported that Dahab attended a training camp near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, where he participated in military-style training and taught foreign fighters preparing for terrorist attacks.
“We will protect our national security and our borders,” Sessions said. “And when we identify individuals tied to foreign terrorist organizations who procured their U.S. citizenship by fraud, we will initiate denaturalization proceedings — whether you reside here or abroad — and ensure you are denied entry into the United States.”
H/T: Fox News
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