ISIS terrorist’s brother in gun battle with police
The brother of a convicted terrorist who had his firearms' licence revoked because police believed he was an unacceptable risk, has won the right to again own a gun.
Tarek Zahab, the younger brother of Haisem Zahab, who was jailed for nine years for providing material support to ISIS and building a rocket missile in his backyard, complained he had been victimised because of his family links, not because he was a threat to anyone.
Mr Zahab took his fight to get his gun licence back to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal saying he found it extremely upsetting that his brother's actions could affect his, especially because his brother has been behind bars for several years.
The 44-year-old father of five told the Tribunal he has constantly had to defend himself because of his brother and it has taken a "financial toll on his family, impacted his livelihood, and his professional life, and his impeccable character is now questioned by work administrators, work colleagues, club members, acquaintances and friends."
Mr Zahab said he had held a gun licence for more than 12 years and had passed all the relevant character checks and had never had a problem. He said he wanted the gun licence for recreational hunting and vermin control on his rural property.
The Tribunal was told Mr Zahab has never been regarded as a person of interest nor has he been questioned by the authorities in relation to Haisem's activities.
He is one of six children and other than Haisem, all his siblings are hardworking law-abiding citizens. There have been no concerns or suspicions about any of them, nor, to his knowledge, have any been questioned by the authorities.
Mr Zahab told the Tribunal his brother acted of his own accord, without the knowledge of his family, and the whole family had been "shaken" by Haisem's activities.
He also pointed out that his brother had been held on remand for two and half years before the decision to suspend, and then revoke his licence was made. Mr Zahab said if his connection to his brother had been a "significant concern" and an "unacceptable risk" he expected something would have been done sooner.
ACAT Senior member Naida Isenberg has found that in the circumstances that it is in the public interest for the Mr Zahab to hold a licence and she is satisfied that there is virtually no risk.
She also said there was no basis to exclude him from holding a firearms licence on the basis of his being of unsound mind.
But the decision will not mean Mr Zahab automatically gets his licence because it would have expired anyway last year. The Tribunal does not have the power to reinstate an expired licence so Mr Zahab will have to reapply apply to the Firearms Registry and it may be refused.
Mrs Isenberg said in any future application for a firearms' licence it would be appropriate that the ACAT decision be taken into account.
Originally published as ISIS terrorist's brother in gun battle with police