Suspected to join IS, Australian wants his passport back

Melbourne: A Melbourne man accused of planning to join IS fight in Syria, is seeking to have his passport cancellation overturned. He says he is the victim of overreach by the Australian federal government, media reported on Friday.

The development comes as new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government moves to mend strained relations with Australia’s Islamic community, ABC reported.

Omar Chandab, 34, was at Melbourne airport with his wife last month, about to leave for the Haj pilgrimage, when he was pulled aside and questioned by Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers.

His passport was first suspended, then cancelled, on the basis of an ASIO assessment which found he holds radical views and was likely headed to join the IS for war in Syria and Iraq.

“It’s just a nonsense… I would rather jump off the West Gate Bridge, because at least you know you’re going to die in this spot straight away,” Chandab said.

He said he is at a loss as to why he was targeted.

Last year, 67 passports were cancelled on security grounds, up from 45 the year before.

In the past three months 20 passports have been cancelled.