Australia Designates Hezbollah, The Base as Terrorist Organisations

The Australian government will list the entirety of the Lebanese Shia political party and militant group Hezbollah and the US neo-Nazi group The Base as terrorist organizations after the Australian Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security issued earlier a recommendation.

The plan to designate the two groups under Australia’s criminal code – on which the outlaws are members, providing support to or associating with listed terrorist organizations- was announced by the Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.

The decision on the matter, which has been kept pending since June, would definitely complicate any effort to dispatch the much necessary aid to Lebanon, which has lately been facing severe political and economic hurdles.

The decision to designate the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization was based on the Australian government’s growing concerns that the group is providing support to at least two other designated terrorist groups – the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas’ Iss al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

The External Security Organisation of Hezbollah, its armed wing, has been designated as a terror organization in Australia since 2003, but broadening it to the entire group comes after Australian police have previously raised concern that the existing listing creates problems for prosecutors that are forced to prove an individual supports specifically that part of Hezbollah’s organization.

It also follows the lead of the US, Canada, and the UK and comes weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has urged Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to classify the whole of the Hezbollah group as a terrorist organization although, allegedly, Canberra was already considering the recommended designation in June.

The government also moved on Wednesday to expand the list of designated terrorist organizations with The Base, a far-right extremist faction created in the United States in 2018, which Andrews described as a “violent, racist and neo-Nazi organization,” according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The white supremacist group that is already designated ‘terrorist’ by the UK and Canada, has earned their own terrorist label in Australia after reports revealed that it had been attempting to recruit individuals as young as 17 across the nation and create various cells.

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