A right-wing extremist group is set to be formally listed as a terrorist organisation for the first time in Australia.
Sonnenkrieg Division, a British neo-Nazi group, will be effectively banned in Australia once its listing as a terror group is confirmed.
The group has been outlawed in Britain since early 2020, and members have been convicted of encouraging terrorism, disseminating terror material, and preparations for a terrorist act.
Two Sonnenkrieg Division members were convicted in 2019 for plotting to attack the British royal family.
Decisions to list terror groups are made on the advice of security agencies like ASIO.
As a result of the listing, it will become an offence to be a member of the group, fund the group, or in some circumstances associate with members of the group.
Penalties can range to up to 25 years in prison.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has written to Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, and all state and territory leaders, proposing the listing.
There are 27 listed terror groups in Australia, including Islamic terror groups like Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Boko Haram and Jemaah Islamiyah.
Increasing focus on right-wing terror
Australian security agencies have advised there are no Australians directly involved with Sonnenkrieg Division.
But a gathering of white supremacists in regional Victoria in January prompted calls for other right-wing groups to be listed.
Stickers promoting the “National Socialist Network” were reported by some residents in the Grampians during the group’s visit.
Despite police investigations, no laws were found to be broken, which led to some experts to call for the National Socialist Network to be similarly listed.
Mr Dutton has previously asked federal parliament’s powerful joint committee on intelligence and security to look into groups that fall short of meeting the threshold for listing, but still pose a threat.
The committee would consider what possible law changes could be made to better address such groups.
Labor has previously called for the government to declare far-right group Proud Boys as terrorists.
Groups on Australia’s terror watch list
- Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
- Al Qaeda (AQ)
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
- Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)
- Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
- Al Shabaab
- Boko Haram
- Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades
- Hizballah’s External Security Organisation (ESO)
- Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
- Islamic State
- Islamic State East Asia
- Islamic State in Libya (IS-Libya)
- Islamic State Khorasan Province
- Islamic State Sinai Province (IS-Sinai)
- Islamic State Somalia
- Islamic State West Africa Province
- Jabhat Fatah al-Sham
- Jama’at Mujahideen Bangladesh
- Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin
- Jemaah Anshorut Daulah
- Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)
- Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad