A Syrian refugee suspected of being a terrorist has been banned by Theresa May – from leaving Britain
A Syrian refugee suspected by the UK Government of being a terrorist has been banned by Theresa May – from leaving Britain.
Rather than deporting the alleged extremist to protect national security, the then Home Secretary ‘personally’ ruled he should be kept here.
Her officials have repeatedly gone to court to prevent the man obtaining documents that would allow him to go overseas.
They claim the terror suspect wants to fight for Islamic State in Syria and would pose more of a threat if he came back to the UK afterwards.
The Home Office told him in a letter: ‘You are assessed to hold Islamic extremist views and have expressed a desire to travel to Syria to engage in fighting.’
The bizarre case began in August 2012 after the Syrian man – known only as AZ in legal documents to protect his identity – was given refugee status in Britain.
He asked for a travel document given to refugees in line with the Geneva Convention, so he could go to Jordan.
After months of delay, the Home Office told him his application had been ‘refused on national security grounds’.
The man then launched a bid for a judicial review of the decision, and in January 2015 was sent the letter telling him that his desire to fight for IS was behind the travel ban.
His lawyers denied that he had any such plans and claimed he was suffering from ‘severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression’ as well as back and leg pain.
In May that year he was allowed to travel to Sweden, to visit his terminally ill father, who died the same day.
He went back there in June to attend his funeral. A High Court ruling stated that Mrs May herself then rubber-stamped the decision not to let him travel anywhere else.
Later that year, Mr Justice Nicol, sitting in the Administrative Court, dismissed the alleged extremist’s judicial review. AZ appealed against the ruling but, in a Court of Appeal judgment last week, three top judges threw out the challenge.