MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) - American congresswoman, Michele Bachmann has introduced a bill that would stop US citizens fighting for the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Iraq and Syria from returning home, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported.
“By turning against their country, their passports should be revoked and if they’re naturalized citizens, they should lose their citizenship,” Bachmann said in a statement.
The proposal called the Terrorist Denaturalization and Passport Revocation Act urges to revoke passports and strip the US citizenship of Americans found to be fighting for the Islamists overseas.
The bill was already supported by GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden.
According to Fox News, IS fighters are currently able to re-enter the United States and are put on a terror watch list, so they have to go through extra airport screening.
Another Senator, Ted Cruz has filed a similar bill, which would impose a punishment for those Americans who join the Islamic State, Fox News reported.
"There are over 100 Americans right now who have gone and are fighting alongside ISIS [IS]… we can't have people who have joined the terrorists, using US passports to come back and commit acts of terror here at home," Cruz told Fox News.
Cruz goes a step further and says it is necessary to strip citizenship of any person joining military forces with countries at war with the United States.
Efforts to strip US citizenship for those who try to join terror groups have been made before, but run into complicated legal questions. Currently, US citizenship can only be taken away voluntarily.
On September 2, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki during a press briefing was asked whether someone would lose their passport for joining a terrorist group.
“It’s not as black and white as that,” she said, as usual refusing to give any clear comments.
Several hundred individuals from the United States and Canada, as well as about 500 Britons are believed to be fighting for the IS, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL), an al-Qaeda offshoot that initially was fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad, and in June launched a large-scale offensive in Iraq, seizing large parts of the country.
In June, IS group declared itself a “caliphate,” changed its name to the Islamic State and claimed religious authority over all Muslims globally.
According to the US State Department, around 12,000 foreigners have joined the extremists fighting against government forces in Syria since the start of the conflict.
The United States, Britain and Canada are trying to ban the nationals fighting for the extremist groups abroad from returning home.
Earlier this month, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK was actively looking at additional specific powers that would allow the authorities to ban British Jihadist suspects from returning home.
In June, Ottawa officials were granted new powers to strip Canadian citizenship from dual nationals who engage in acts of terrorism or fight against the country’s military abroad.