German citizens with dual nationality who fight for a terror group should be stripped of their German citizenship, the interior minister said Thursday, unveiling tough new measures after two attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.
“Germans who participate in fighting abroad for a terror militia and who have another citizenship should lose their German nationality,” Thomas de Maiziere said.
Some 820 people have left Germany to fight alongside jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, according to estimates by Germany’s secret services.
With around one in three fighters having since returned to Germany, fears are running high of the threat they may pose on European soil.
But the issue of stripping German citizenship is controversial, with Green lawmaker Volker Beck swiftly condemning it as “desperate activism”.
De Maiziere himself also acknowledged that junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats are likely to raise objections.
Existing legislation on citizens who fight for foreign armies
The measure, as well as other plans he unveiled for fighting terror threats, must still be approved by the right-left coalition as well as in the German parliament.
But making his case, he pointed to German legislation which already allows for citizens with dual nationalities and who fight for a foreign army to be stripped of their German citizenship.