An investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism for The Independent details a chilling account of terror suspects being stripped of their British nationality before being targeted by U.S. drone strikes (in at least two cases). With no legal recourse, these exiles exist as “bare life” – subject to death and with no right to life. The UK government, in effect, legally “washed their hands” of them.
Theresa May has revoked the passports of 16 individuals using a 2002 law allowing the Home Secretary to erase the citizenship of any dual nationals who had committed something “seriously prejudicial” to the UK. This bureaucratic procedure is yet another instance of “lawfare” that has become all-too-common in an age when citizenship and due process are open to sovereign interpretation.
Those targeted include Bilal al-Berjawi, a British-Lebanese citizen who came to the UK as a baby and grew up in London, but left for Somalia in 2009 with his close friend the British-born Mohamed Sakr, who also held Egyptian nationality.
Once in Somalia, the two reportedly became involved with al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group with links to al-Qa’ida. Mr Berjawi was said to have risen to a senior position in the organisation, with Mr Sakr his “right-hand man”.
In 2010, Theresa May stripped both men of their British nationalities.
In June 2011 Mr Berjawi was wounded in the first known US drone strike in Somalia and last year he was killed by a drone strike …. Mr Sakr, too, was killed in a US airstrike in February 2012, although his British origins have not been revealed until now.
UPDATE: Very interesting graphic from TBIJ below: