Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist in Australia
Canberra – Australia intends to add the far-right extremist al-Qaeda and the Lebanese group Hezbollah to its list of banned terrorist organizations.
Home Secretary Karen Andrews said on Wednesday that Hezbollah’s External Security Service has been listed as a terrorist organization under the Australian Criminal Code since 2003.
Designating all Hezbollah entities as terrorist organizations would make joining or supporting such entities a criminal offense.
“The group continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provides support to terrorist organizations,” Andrews said in a statement.
Al Qaeda, which originated in the United States, will become the second far-right group to be designated a terrorist organization in Australia after the British-based Sonnenkrieg was listed in August.
The remaining 25 terrorist organizations on Australia’s list are Islamist groups.
“Al-Qaeda is a violent, racist, neo-Nazi group known by the security services to plan and prepare terrorist attacks,” Andrews said.
She added: “Al Qaeda is currently banned as a terrorist organization by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom and is known to have organized paramilitary training camps abroad.”
Andrews wrote to state and territory governments to consult on the two proposed lists. She said she aims to finish the lists as soon as possible.
The Lebanese ambassador to Australia, Milad Raad, could not be reached for comment.
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