ASIO Cancels The Passports Of 20 Western Sydney Men With 'Jihadi Mentality'

Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad carry the national flag as they ride on motorcycles in Qusair, after the Syrian army took control from rebel fighters, June 5, 2013.

Australia’s national security intelligence service has cancelled the passports of 20 men believed to be linked to terrorist organisations involved in the Syrian war.

ASIO has accused the men of Western Sydney, aged from 17 to 40, of being prepared to “engage in politically motivated violence” or of having a “jihadi mentality” reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

The crackdown comes after Hamdi Alqudsi, 39, was arrested and charged under foreign incursion laws for allegedly providing money, resources and contacts for Australians travelling to Syria to join terrorist organisations, including Jubhat Al-Nusra.

Following the arrest the domestic spy agency has said that more than 100 Australians have travelled overseas to fight with such groups in Syria.

While ASIO has said “withholding passports is an important means of preventing Australians from travelling overseas to engage in activities prejudicial to national security”, the men involved are furious with the accusations and are calling the move an infringement on their human rights.

15 of the men have sought legal advice from lawyer Zali Burrows who told The SMH he is prepared to “take it all the way to the High Court.”

Read more here.

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