Abbott decried the spread of Islamic extremism in Syria and Iraq as a “new dark age”
Australians who hold dual nationality and flout antiterrorism laws will have their citizenship suspended or revoked, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Monday during an address on national security.
Even those born in Australia could have citizenship privileges taken away if they are involved in terrorism, reports the BBC.
“These [measures] could include restricting the ability to leave or return to Australia, and access to consular services overseas, as well as access to welfare payments,” Abbott said at the federal police headquarters in the capital, Canberra.
The 57-year-old Premier stressed that the new legislation would also target preachers who incite religious or racial hatred.
“By any measure, the threat to Australia is worsening,” he added, calling the spread of Islamic extremism over Syria and Iraq a “new dark age.”
Abbott said that many of his compatriots were becoming radicalized and lured into the “death cult” of terrorist groups. About 90 Australian nationals are believed to have traveled abroad to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
During his speech, Abbott also announced the appointment of a new counterterrorism chief and seven new financial analysts to crack down on terrorist financing.
The move comes in the wake of the Sydney siege, during which a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis, held 18 people hostage at a café in the city center. Three people including Monis, who had pledged fealty to ISIS, died at the scene.