JERUSALEM, Israel – Australia announced on Wednesday that it will designate the entire Hezbollah organization as a “terrorist organization.”
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that the Iran-backed Lebanese group “continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provide support to terrorist organizations,” and poses a “real” and “credible” threat to Australia.
Some western countries have designated Hezbollah as a terror group but differentiate between its pollical and military wings. This new decision by Australia would label all of Hezbollah as a terror entity and make being a member, supporting the group, or doing business with Hezbollah a criminal offense.
Hezbollah is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Israel, and the Arab League. A growing number of countries have moved to declare it a terror organization. Last month, Saudi Arabia placed Hezbollah’s financial arm on its terror blacklist.
Andrews also said Australia would designate a Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist group called “The Base” as a terror group. The Base, which began in the United States in 2018, is also active in Canada, Europe and Australia.
“We are aware of their activities within Australia and overseas, and we will continue to monitor them and their activities. We will look closely at their membership and we will take action once they are fully listed under the Criminal Code,” said Andrews.
Australia’s counter-terror intelligence chief Mike Burgess warned in August that young Australians were being radicalized to support a white-power race war. Now, half of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization’s most important domestic anti-terrorism cases involve neo-Nazi cells and other ideologically motivated groups.
Andrews said the decision to list Hezbollah and The Base as terror groups was not taken lightly and that she aims to finalize the designations soon.