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Australia lists Hezbollah as 'terrorist organisation'

November 24, 2021 at 2:44 pm

Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews on August 23, 2021 in Canberra, Australia [Rohan Thomson/Getty Images]

Australia, on Wednesday, listed all of Hezbollah – a political party and an armed wing, which has considerable power in Lebanon – as a terrorist organisation, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Home Affairs Minister, Karen Andrews, told the parliament that there is no place “for violent, hateful ideologies” in the country.

She said the Tehran-backed group “continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provides support to terrorist organisations,” adding that its militia has been listed as a terrorist organisation in Australia since 2003.

The Movement is said to have sent fighters in Syria’s civil war to support the Assad regime, and is also accused of blocking investigation into the devastating 2020 Beirut port explosion.

Saudi Arabia, which recalled its ambassador from Lebanon in October, blames Hezbollah for damaging Riyadh-Beirut relations, and influencing the decisions of the Lebanese State.

It also accuses Hezbollah of sending fighters to Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition fights another Iran-aligned group, the Houthi movement.

Canberra also labelled Neo-Nazi group, “The Base”, as a terrorist organisation. Andrews said the “violent, racist, neo-Nazi group” is known by security agencies to be planning and preparing terrorist attacks.

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“The Base” is also proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the governments of Canada and the UK, and is known to have organised paramilitary training camps overseas, she added.

She said “listing these organisations sends a very strong message that Australia condemns the use of terrorism to achieve political, ideological or religious objectives.”

“There is absolutely no place in Australia for violent extremism,” the Minister argued. “There is no cause – religious or ideological – that can justify killing innocent people.”

Andrews said there is a threat of terrorism in Australia and across the world, adding that since 2013, the government has allocated more than $69 million to countering violent extremism programs in Australia.