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U.S. Moves To Strip Citizenship From Al-Qaeda Operative In Brooklyn Plot

The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge

U.S. authorities have taken rare action to strip U.S. citizenship from a man convicted in 2003 of involvement in an Al-Qaeda plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

The Justice Department on March 20 filed a civil suit to revoke the citizenship of Iyman Faris, a Pakistan native who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for supporting the terrorist organization. He is due to be released in 2020.

The department said Faris lied to gain citizenship and fraudulently used another man's passport to gain entry into the United States in 1994.

"The Department's Office of Immigration Litigation will continue to pursue denaturalization proceedings against known or suspected terrorists who procured their citizenship by fraud," acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler said.

"The U.S. government is dedicated to...preventing the exploitation of our nation's immigration system by those who would do harm to our country," he said.

Faris previously admitted to investigating how blowtorches could be used to sever the Brooklyn Bridge's suspension cables as part of an Al-Qaeda plot, but said he concluded in 2002 that security was too tight around the bridge to carry out an attack.

Based on reporting by AP and The Washington Times