IS Fighter Loses Citizenship After 10k Benefit Payout

Story By: Victoria LyndonSub-Editor:  Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News 

Vienna has stripped this Islamic State fighter of his Austrian citizenship after he returned to the country from Syria for a holiday which saw him claim over 10,000 GBP in benefits.

Local media report Azad G., who had dual Austrian-Turkish citizenship has now been stripped of his Austrian passport after returning from the country from Syria.

Picture Credit: CEN/ Facebook

The 27-year-old was placed on the army “black list” in Austria in 2010 after having learnt how to handle an assault rifle. The army believed him to be so dangerous that he was not allowed to join in training exercises.

Azad G., who grew up in a Kurdish family belonging to the Alevi faith, converted to Sunni Islam in the Austrian capital Vienna and quickly became radicalised, according to reports.

Picture Credit: CEN

When his parents reported him to the Austrian intelligence services in 2013, he fled the country. After first travelling to Egypt he later migrated to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State (IS).

After recently returning to Austria for a holiday and to receive his benefits, amounting to 12,400 EUR (10,473 GBP), the IS fighter headed back to war-torn Syria.

Michael Ludwig, the Mayor of Vienna, confirmed Azad G.’s Austrian citizenship had been withdrawn, saying: “Anyone who joins a terrorist organisation and participates in the combat operations of IS, loses all rights of Austrian citizenship.”

It was possible to withdraw Azad G.’s European passport without leaving him stateless due to him having Turkish citizenship.

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