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Australia designates entirety of Hezbollah as terror group

i24NEWS

clock 3 min read

Supporters of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah chant slogans in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on January 5, 2020
AP / Maya Alleruzzo 2020 ©Supporters of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah chant slogans in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on January 5, 2020

Canberra also plans to grant the label to The Base, a far-right extremist group from the US

Australia announced on Wednesday that it is designating the entirety of Lebanon’s Islamist Hezbollah faction as a “terrorist organization.”

The news was delivered by Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, who explained “The government has zero-tolerance for violence, and there is no cause - religious or political - that can justify killing innocent people,” according to Deutsche Welle (DW).

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Previously, Canberra classified only Hezbollah’s armed wing under the label, not the movement’s political branch. The ban on Hezbollah’s military division was first imposed in 2003, and has been regularly extended since.

However, under the government’s new plans, the whole organization will be categorized as a “terrorist organization,” which would make expressing support for either Hezbollah’s military or political arm in Australia a criminal offense.

Andrews said Hezbollah “continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provide support to terrorist organizations,” and that the entity represents a “real” and “credible” threat to Australia, DW reported.

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The official also said Canberra will grant the label to The Base, a far-right extremist faction created in the United States.

Andrews described The Base as a “violent, racist and neo-Nazi organization,” according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I have sufficient information in front of me to be concerned and to understand that The Base meets the threshold for listing as a terrorist organization,” she explained, the Associated Press reported.