Thursday, 17 February 2022
Media release

Eight terrorist organisations to be listed under the criminal code

The Morrison Government has today listed Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, Hurras al-Din and the National Socialist Order as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code and intends to list the entirety of Hamas.

The Government has also re-listed Abu Sayyaf Group, al-Qa’ida, al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb and Jemaah Islamiyah as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said there is no higher priority for the Morrison Government than the protection of Australians.

“The Morrison Government has zero tolerance for violence, and will continue to focus on keeping Australians safe from terrorism and violent extremism,” Minister Andrews said.

“The views of Hamas and the violent extremist groups listed today are deeply disturbing, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies.

“It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organisations that plan, finance and carry out these acts.

“Based on advice from the relevant Government agencies, I am satisfied these organisations meet the criteria to be listed as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code.”

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is a Sunni Islamist religiously-motivated violent extremist group that is engaged in hostilities in north-western Syria. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is a successor of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been listed under the Criminal Code by the Government since 2013.

Hurras al-Din, also known as al-Qa’ida in Syria, is a Sunni Islamist religiously motivated violent extremist group that was established in Idlib, Syria, in early 2018, as part of al‑Qa’ida’s global network.

National Socialist Order, formerly known as Atomwaffen Division, is a nationalist and racist violent extremist group based in the United States. The National Socialist Order has plans and advocates for violence in pursuit of its ideological objectives, to initiate a global ‘race war’ and accelerate the collapse of democratic societies.

The listing of National Socialist Order will come into effect immediately.

The listing of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Hurras al-Din, and re-listing of Abu Sayyaf Group, al‑Qa’ida, al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb and Jemaah Islamiyah will come into effect on 9 April 2022, concurrently with the expiry of the current listings.

I have written to my state and territory counterparts to consult with them on the listing of the entirety of Hamas, and will finalise the listing as soon as possible.

Should Hamas be listed, it will replace the current listing of Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the Brigades).

This listing will bring the Criminal Code into line with Australia’s designation of the entirety of Hamas under Australia’s counter-terrorism financing sanctions regime.

The Government currently lists 28 terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code. Today’s announcement follows the listing of The Base and the entirety of Hizballah under the Criminal Code in December 2021.

Further details regarding the listing of terrorist organisations can be found at www.nationalsecurity.gov.au.

Terrorist organisation offences includes penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment.