Nigerian man stripped of British citizenship, suspected of plotting Paris-style terror attack
The man, known as L2 for legal reasons, was deemed such a security risk that Home Secretary Theresa May personally signed an order removing his British nationality in 2013.
L2, who is said to have lived and worked in Tower Hamlets, East London, during his time in Britain, is now challenging the Home Office decision at a hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) in London.
The man is currently in Nigeria with his family.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which is covering the case, an unnamed secret services agent referred to as ‘EZ’ told the hearing L2 had been “engaged in terror activity.”
L2 was directly associated with close friends of Michael Adebolajo, killer of soldier Lee Rigby, and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) executioner Mohammed Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John,” the court heard.
The agent said L2 had been in Turkey in 2007 taking part in terror-related activity with Ali Adorus, a close associate of Jihadi John.
After returning to the UK, L2 spent time in a British prison between 2007 and 2011 for possessing a handgun, the agent said.
Following his release, L2 is understood to have attended meetings and been a member of the now banned group of radicals al Muhajiroun.
The court was also told L2 had fought for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) against French forces in Mali, and it was largely because of this the British state sought to ban him from returning.
“We were trying to prevent L2 bringing back the expertise he would have learnt with AQIM and so a deprivation order was the best course to take,” the agent told Siac.
The agent says recent events such as last year’s Paris attacks suggest extremists are returning to conduct their jihad in Europe, including “instances where individuals from the UK have travelled overseas and returned to conduct attacks.”
The agent also said L2 worked at Master Printers in Tower Hamlets - a printing shop raided by police in 2011 over suspicions of links to al Muhajiroun.
L2 worked alongside Shah Jalal Hussein, who was tried in 2014 for disseminating terrorist propaganda and jailed for three years.
The court heard the pair knew each other “not just through their employment” but because they were both founding members of the proscribed terrorist organization Minbar Ansar Deen.
In cross examination, Hugh Southey QC, barrister for L2, said his client denied being a member of either al Muhajiroun or Minbar Ansar Deen, merely that he was acquainted with members.
Southey said Minbar Ansar Deen was “essentially just a website,” which L2 denies ever visiting.
The case continues.