Canada eyes revoking citizenship of dual nationals tied to terror

Wed Feb 6, 2013 6:01pm EST
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By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government is eyeing legislation that would let it revoke the citizenship of dual nationals involved in acts of terrorism following news that a Canadian-Lebanese man participated in an attack that killed Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year.

The Conservative government said on Tuesday that a Canadian dual national was one of three people who attacked a tourist bus in Bulgaria last summer, killing five Israelis.

Canada is investigating a separate charge by Algeria that a Canadian coordinated last month's attack on a gas plant there.

"Canadian citizenship is predicated on loyalty to this country, and I cannot think of a more obvious act of renouncing one's sense of loyalty than going and committing acts of terror," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told reporters on Wednesday.

Kenney said citizenship can now be revoked only if it was shown to have been gained fraudulently.

That did not appear to be the case with the man implicated in the Bulgarian attack, who apparently came to Canada from Lebanon aged about 8, gained Canadian citizenship three or four years later, and returned to Lebanon when he was 12.

"I understand he may have been back to Canada a few times since then, but (he) has not been a habitual resident in Canada since the age of 12," Kenney said.

Kenney endorsed a bill introduced by Conservative legislator Devinder Shory that would enable the citizenship of dual nationals to be revoked if they engage in war against Canada. He suggested expanding the bill to include acts of terrorism, even if they were not targeted at Canada.   Continued...

Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie