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Denmark strips jihadist of his citizenship

On Friday a court in Denmark stripped the citizenship of a 25-year former pizzeria owner turned jihadist.

Published: April 7, 2017, 9:29 am

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    Copenhagen, Denmark

    Enes Ciftci, 25, of Kurdish origin, was also sentenced to six years in jail for complicity in terrorist acts after two visits to Syria in 2013, the Copenhagen Court of Appeal said in a statement.

    Ciftci became the first native of Denmark to lose his citizenship in this way.

    He is however the second Dane to be deprived of his nationality after a Moroccan radical Islamic Imam was convicted in 2015, but the Imam had obtained this nationality by naturalisation and not birth.

    Ciftci had spent his whole life in Denmark, ending up as a cook in a pizzeria in Tune, a small town near Copenhagen.

    According to the Danish media, he claimed his adherence to the ideology of the Islamic State group, which justified his fighting to defend the “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, he claimed during his trial in Glostrup (east).

    Once the sentence has been served, the Danish authorities will have to decide whether they grant him a right of residence or deport him to Turkey.

    The lawyer for the Danish-Turk — who during his trial denied fighting for ISIS but admitted working as a baker for the group in Syria — told broadcaster TV2 his client would appeal the ruling.

    Ciftci was originally sentenced to seven years in prison for allowing himself to be recruited in 2013 by ISIS to commit attacks in Syria, but was allowed to keep his passport. Prosecutors had appealed that sentence, leading to Friday’s hearing, Reuters reported.

    Last year, Denmark’s Supreme Court stripped a Danish-Moroccan bookseller of his Danish citizenship after he received a prison sentence for inciting terrorism.

    Concerns over increased radicalisation among Muslims in Europe are growing as terror attacks in countries such as France, Germany and Britain continue.

    The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, announced the death of Danish citizen Kenneth Sørensen in 2013. The video was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence group.

    Sørensen, who was also known as Abu ‘Aisha al Dinmarki and Abdul Malik al Dinmarki, was killed on March 3, 2013. He had “an appointment with martyrdom to attain what he wished for in the countryside of Latakia, in a fierce battle between the heroes of Islam and the soldiers of the regime,” the video said, according to SITE.

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