Teen in Syria: 'I'm here to help the people'

Oliver Bridgeman says he is in Syria to help the people.
Oliver Bridgeman says he is in Syria to help the people. Contributed

A TEENAGER trapped in Syria has defended his trip to the war-torn country by quoting the Hadith.

Former Toowoomba man Oliver Bridgeman's passport was cancelled by the Federal Government last week and he's unable to return home.

He has previously stated he travelled to the country to work with charity group Live Updates From Syria and has appeared in a number of YouTube videos, many of which show him delivering aid.

But the government has raised suspicions about his activities in the country which has been engulfed in civil war since March 15, 2011.

He has been named as a potential security threat.

Papers delivered to his Toowoomba parents stated if Mr Bridgeman continued to hold an Australian passport, he "would be likely to engage in conduct that might prejudice the security of Australia or a foreign country" and that its cancellation would "prevent him from engaging in the conduct".

Mr Bridgeman, who also goes by the alias Yusif Oli, has responded by posting a photo of himself with nine Syrian children and wrote: "I left my family and country because I knew these people needed my help."

"Love for your brother , what you love for your self - Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him )," he wrote, quoting Hadith 13.

The Hadith are a collection of writings which claim to quote what the prophet Muhammad said verbatim.

Mr Bridgeman has previously disavowed any connection to rebel or terrorist groups involved in the Syrian conflict.

He has also reacted by writing: "No matter what the Australian government say or do, they know that I'm here to help humanity and especially the people of Syria."

His lawyer Alex Jones from Bosscher Lawyers has lodged an appeal with Brisbane's Administrative Appeals Tribunal on the Immigration Department's decision to cancel his client's passport.

Mr Jones has said the government has been unable to produce any evidence that his client has committed a crime.

A date for the hearing is yet to be set.

Topics:  editors picks oliver bridgeman toowoomba

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