A Nigerian man who lived in Tower Hamlets is challenging the home secretary’s decision to revoke his UK citizenship amidst national security fears.
The man, known only as L2 for legal reasons, has been linked to extremist groups and individuals in Britain, a hearing was told yesterday (May 26). He had his citizenship revoked in 2013 amid claims that he would return to the UK from Nigeria to execute a Paris-style attack.
The man was in Nigeria when home secretary Theresa May personally signed an order to revoke his citizenship – this is where he has remained since then.
At a hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in London, a secret services agent known as EZ told the court that L2 had been a member of the banned British radical group, al-Muhajiroun.
L2 was also said to have links with Lee Rigby’s killer, Michael Adebolajo, and the British ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi, AKA Jihadi John.
Yesterday’s hearing was closed to the public so home office lawyers could present secret evidence to the judges of the SIAC.
The agent told the court that L2 fought against French forces in Mali for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
EZ said: “We were trying to prevent L2 bringing back the expertise he would have learnt with AQIM and so a deprivation order was the best course to take.”
The court was told that L2 had spent time in Turkey in 2007 where he he “engaged in terror related activity” with Ali Adorus, an associate of Jihadi John. He then spent time in prison between 2007 and 2011 for possession of a hand gun.
It was after L2 was released from prison he attended al-Muhajiroun meetings and demonstrations, according to EZ.
Hugh Southey QC, barrister for L2, said his client denied being a member of al-Muhajiroun, and that he was only acquainted with members of the group.
He also denies fighting with al-Qaeda against Malian and French forces.
L2 had been known by the police for five years before Theresa May signed the order, the court heard.
The hearing continues.