Islamic State East Asia relisted as terror organisation in Australia
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Affected Countries: australia;
The East Asian arm of Islamic State has been relisted as a terrorist organisation three years after it was first added to the list.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the decision to relist IS East Asia was a reflection on the Australian Government’s “commitment to strong laws for the protection of Australians, both here and overseas”.
“The Government reviews the listing of terrorist organisations to respond to changing circumstances and to ensure the effective prosecution of terrorists,” Mr Dutton said.
“Based on advice from our security agencies, I am satisfied this terrorist organisation continues to meet the criteria for listing under the Criminal Code.”
Islamic State East Asia is an Islamic State affiliate whose primary objective is to establish an Islamic State under sharia law in the Philippines.
Its secondary objective is to impose Islamic rule beyond the Philippines. The group pledged allegiance to Islamic State in December 2015 and is believed to have upwards of 300 members.
While Islamic State East Asia has not made specific threats towards Australia, the Government believes it is “probable Australians could be harmed in the group‘s future attacks due to the considerable Australian business interests and the number of Australian travellers in the Philippines”.
The decision comes as anti-terror authorities fight more threats than ever before.
In February, ASIO director-general Mike Burgess said the number of terrorism leads being investigated had “doubled since this time last year”.
“The character of terrorism will continue to evolve, and we believe that it will take on a more dispersed and diversified face,” he said.
In June, The Conversation reported an Islamic State online publication in India had called for supporters to weaponise the coronavirus to further the group’s agenda.
“Every brother and sister, even children, can contribute to Allah’s cause by becoming the carriers of this disease and striking the colonies of the disbelievers,” the publication read.
The article went on to say Muslims would not be hurt by the virus, as “no disease can harm even a hair of a believer”.
Offences relating to terror organisations attract jail terms of up to 25 years.
There are 27 groups listed as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code. These groups are reviewed every three years before their term expires.
Source: News AU