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Australia pushes Hezbollah to the level of a terrorist organisation

On Wednesday, Australia pushed the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah and the Neo-Nazi group The Base, as terrorist organisations. According to ABC News, being a member of The Base or Hezbollah is now a criminal offense.

Terrorist organisation offences include becoming a member, recruiting, getting training, or obtaining finances for a terrorist organisation, and can result in a sentence of up to 25 years in jail. Hezbollah is a Shia Islamist political party and militant force established in Lebanon that has made connections with Iran and Syria.

As per ABC News, security experts have cautioned that Hezbollah’s foreign network is growing in size and power, but prefers covert operations over direct warfare.

Until today, Australia has only recognised the group’s External Security Organisation (ESO) as a terrorist organisation, leaving the group’s military and political branches off the list. Including the political branch of Hezbollah, which has government participation, on the list might make aid flow to Lebanon more difficult. Lebanon is in the midst of a political and economic crisis.

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Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that Hezbollah was supporting other terrorist groups in the region, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Last year Hezbollah directed vengeance against the death of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Solemaini by a US drone attack. The government’s nonpartisan intelligence and security committee has also proposed that Hamas be designated as a terrorist organisation in its entirety.

Andrews also called the white supremacist group The Base as ‘a violent, racist and neo-Nazi organisation’┬áthat has been accused of plotting assaults in various countries.

The ABC revealed earlier this year that The Base was actively recruiting men as young as 17 in Australia.

The Base organisation was founded in 2018 and has attempted to develop terrorist cells in a number of countries in order to create a fascist, white ethno-state.

Several persons related to the gang were being prosecuted in the United States for crimes such as murder conspiracy.

The ABC news reported that the far-right group has already been recognised as a terrorist organisation in Canada and the United Kingdom.

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