Asia - Pacific

Australia lists Hezbollah as 'terrorist organization'

No place for 'violent, hateful ideologies' in country, says home affairs minister

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 24.11.2021
Australia lists Hezbollah as 'terrorist organization'

ISTANBUL

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

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 organizations," adding that its militia has been listed as a terrorist organization 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 organization. Andrews said the "violent, racist, neo-Nazi group" is known by security agencies to be planning and preparing terrorist attacks.

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

She said “listing these organizations 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.

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