Australia on Wednesday listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety – banning the armed wing alongside the political affiliate.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews told parliament there is no place “for violent, hateful ideologies” in the country as she announced the clamp down on the Shia Islamist militant group based in Lebanon but active abroad and predicated on the demand for the complete destruction of Israel.
She said the Tehran-backed group “continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provides support to terrorist organizations,” adding its militia has been listed as a terrorist organization in Australia since 2003 as well as overseas, as Breitbart News reported.
ABC News reports security experts have warned Hezbollah’s international network is expanding in size and influence, but prefers covert operations rather than direct conflict.
Until now Australia has only listed the group’s External Security Organisation (ESO) on the terrorist list, exempting its military and political wings from further scrutiny.
Andrews said Hezbollah was providing support to other terrorist organisations in the region, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Last year, Hezbollah vowed revenge for a U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Solemaini while more recently working to disrupt shipping in international waters.
Hezbollah terrorist chief Hasan Nasrallah confirmed an oil tanker is bound for Lebanon from Iran, in clear defiance of U.S. sanctions. https://t.co/F5Yt4Zfkfi
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 21, 2021
The government’s bipartisan committee on intelligence and security has also recommended the entirety of Palestinian group Hamas be listed as a terror organisation.
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.