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Australia lists neo-Nazi groups and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations

CANBERRA – Australia on Wednesday classified neo-Nazi organization The Base and Hezbollah, the Shia Muslim political party in Lebanon and the militant group, as terrorist organisations.

This classification makes it illegal for anyone to become a member of The Base, the white extremist group founded in 2018, or Hezbollah. Anyone found guilty of being a member can be imprisoned for up to 25 years.

“There is absolutely no place in Australia for violent extremism. No cause – religion or ideology – can justify killing innocent people,” Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews told reporters in Canberra.

Hezbollah is not believed to be active in Australia, although authorities say The Base has been actively seeking to develop cells.

Andrews declined to say how many members of the Base are in Australia. The base was established in the United States and has been listed as a terrorist organization in Canada and the UK.

US ally Australia is on high alert after a series of “lone wolf” attacks in recent years.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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