The Trump Administration has revoked the citizenship of a man recently convicted of being a member of an Egyptian terrorist organization. The man, Khaled Abu al-Dahab, was convicted of training budding jihadists to hang glide as part of a plan to bomb targets from the air in Egypt.
Last week, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the “denationalization” of al-Dahab, who in court documents is described as a “senior jihadist.” In its ruling, the court said that his offenses include lying to immigration officials and being a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization for 10 years among other things.
Al-Dahab, 57, has been a resident of the United States since arriving from Egypt in 1986 on an immigration visa. Then in 1989 he became a lawful permanent resident following his marriage to a US citizen. Officials said he later became a naturalized citizen in 1997.
According to federal prosecutors, he joined the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1989 and aided the group with forged passports and money. He also provided them with a “communications hub” out of his apartment in Santa Clara, California, while working as a car salesman in South Bay. In addition, officials said al-Dahab admitted that he recruited Americans of Middle Eastern descent for the group. In 1991 he was said to have lied to officials when he told them he was traveling to Pakistan to help his mother, who was to undergo a kidney transplant.
Instead he traveled to Pakistan and was then smuggled into Afghanistan to receive training at a terrorist camp. There he trained others to hang glide for a planned aerial bombing operation in Egypt that never materialized. In 1998 he was arrested in Egypt after trying to overthrow the government and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is believed to be currently living in Alexandria, Egypt, the court was told.
The decision by the Trump administration to revoke his citizenship was uncontested, despite efforts to notify al-Dahab of the proceedings. The court allowed prosecutors to serve his summons via his Facebook page. But the real question here is why did it take almost 20 years from the time of his arrest and conviction to revoke his citizenship, when the facts were clearly known by no less than three Presidential administrations? Presidents Clinton, G. W. Bush and Barack Obama, all had knowledge of his conviction but he was still allowed to retain his citizenship despite his treasonous acts.