Authorities have confirmed that an Australian-Syrian citizen has been arrested in Lebanon on Sunday on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities.
According to local media, the military intelligence arrested Mark Eddie Maximus in Tripoli, which is considered as the main centre of jihadists in the nation. The Lebanese authorities suspected him as belonging to a terrorist group which might be planning to attack and destroy the nation. The officers tracked and stopped the Australian-Syrian citizen’s car and then commenced the gunfire battle followed by his arrest. The ABC reported that Lebanese officials were also looking for a woman suspected of working for the Islamic State group.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is seeking to confirm reports of the detention of an Australian man in Tripoli, Lebanon on suspicion of terrorism-related offences,” Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said in a statement.
According to 9News, Australian authorities have listed Northern Lebanon as well as the Lebanon-Syrian border areas as “do not travel” tourist places. In April, the Aussie government decided to take away the Australian citizenship from people who have ever been involved in terror activities or have remained members of a banned organization. “There is a very significant penalty to pay if people are involved in terrorist activities and they’re a dual national,” Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said.
The government took such a move based on the frequency of reports which stated the nation was under maximum threat from home-grown radicals. Reuters reported in April that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has been working on 400 investigations, keeping it on high priority as they were potential threats to Australia, the minister said.
Prior to Australia, France began stripping the French citizenship from people suspected of being involved in terror activities. French Prime Minister Francois Hollande had to take such a decision because of the sudden deadly terror attacks in Paris that killed around 130 people and led to severe destruction and deaths.