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Europe's top court says asylum seekers with terror links can be turned away

The EU's highest court has reached a decision concerning a Moroccan asylum seeker. The decision expands the grounds on which a potential terrorist can be rejected.

The highest court in the EU said on Tuesday that an asylum seeker can be rejected if the individual has ties to a terrorism organization.

The case brought before the European Court of Justice concerned a Moroccan citizen named Mostafa Lounani. After spending six years in prison in Belgium for helping forge documents on behalf of a jihadist network, Lounani applied for refugee status in the EU, arguing he would be persecuted in his native country because of his prison sentence.

But the court in Luxembourg ruled against Lounani. "An application for asylum can be rejected if the asylum seeker has participated in the activities of a terrorist network," the court said.

This means that even if the individual didn't participate in the planning or carrying out of an attack or advocate support for a terrorist group, he or she can be denied anyslum.

Grounds for exclusion can also include involvement in recruitment, organization and transportation of people participating in terrorist acts.

The court also pointed out that Lounani had been a leader of a terrorist group blacklisted by the United Nations in 2002.

blc/kms (AFP, dpa, AP)

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