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Chapter 2 The Listings

The Criteria for listing an organisation

2.1                   To be specified as a terrorist organisation for the purpose of paragraph (b) of the definition of terrorist organisation in section 102.1 of the Criminal Code, the Minister:

 . . . must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not the terrorist act has occurred or will occur).[1]

2.2                   At the hearing on 1 February 2005 for the Review of the listing of six terrorist organisations, the Director-General of ASIO advised the Committee of ASIO’s evaluation process in selecting entities for proscription under the Criminal Code.  Some of the factors included:

n  engagement in terrorism;

n  ideology and links to other terrorist groups or networks;

n  links to Australia;

n  threat to Australian interests;

n  proscription by the UN or like-minded countries; and

n  engagement in peace/mediation processes.[2]

2.3                   The Committee continues to use these criteria as the basis of its reviews of all listings.

Overview

2.4                   The Committee’s view is that, given their records and stated purposes, all the organisations reviewed in this report fit the definition of a terrorist organisation under the Act and for the purposes of the proscription power.

2.5                   As in previous Committee reports into listings and re-listings of terrorist organisations, this report identifies issues relating to the current nature and reach of each of the organisations, with particular emphasis on developments since the Committee last reviewed the listing of these organisations. As previously stated by the Committee in its report, Review of the re-listing of Al-Qa’ida and Jemaah Islamiyah (October 2006):

The Committee believes that it is important that the Parliament seek to establish as accurate a picture as possible of the nature, size, reach, and effectiveness of organisations that are subject to section 102.1 of the Criminal Code and that these reviews should reflect the most current information available about the organisations under review.[3]

The Organisations

2.6                   The four organisations under review were initially listed as terrorist organisations in 2003 under legislative arrangements which required that to be proscribed organisations had to be on the United Nations list of terrorist organisations. The organisations came up for review under new legislative arrangements passed by Parliament in 2004. The Committee, therefore, reviewed the first re-listing of these organisations in August 2005. Following this, the Committee again reviewed these re-listings in June 2007 and in June 2009. This is the fourth review of the re-listing of these four terrorist organisations.

Ansar al-Islam

2.7                   The Attorney-General’s Statement of Reasons for re-listing Ansar al-Islam is at Appendix B.

Engagement in Terrorism

2.8                   Ansar al-Islam (AAI) (formerly Ansar al-Sunna) plans and conducts attacks against foreign forces, Shia, Kurdish and Iraqi government interests. AAI’s attacks most commonly target US and Iraqi security forces in Iraq using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Indirect Fire (IDF) attacks.[4]

2.9                   The Statement of Reasons lists over fifty attacks for which AAI has indicated responsibility, by posting a video or media statement, in the period since the last review. Their methods have included assassinations, the use of small arms, thermal grenades, and IED and mortar attacks against Iraqi police and military personnel and against US military patrols, bases and vehicles.[5]

2.10               The Statement of Reasons lists the following attacks carried out by the AAI in the last year:

n  In July 2011 AAI claimed responsibility for a car bombing that killed two Iraqi government officials in Baghdad in June;

n  In May 2011 AAI’s media unit released a video showcasing a number of the group’s recent attacks against Iraqi security forces, referring to them as “agents of the United States in its ‘proxy war’ on Iraq”;

n  In April 2011 AAI claimed responsibility for the March 2011 assassination of an Iraqi Army officer in a car bomb attack in Baghdad; and

n  In March 2011 AAI released a video of two fighters recounting events from a clash with American soldiers in Kirkuk province. [6]

2.11               Although outside the period currently being reviewed, it was AAI which claimed responsibility for the suicide attack that claimed the life of Australian ABC cameraman Paul Moran in Iraq in 2003. One of the group’s founders and former leader, Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, “boasted about the suicide squad he established which killed Moran.” [7]

2.12               Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (Jane’s) notes that on 15 February 2012, Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, alias Mullah Krekar, appeared before a court in the Norwegian capital Oslo and was charged with making death threats against a former government minister and with criminal incitement over remarks he allegedly made to a U.S. television network in 2009, when he purportedly called for attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq.[8]

2.13               The Statement of Reasons notes that AAI has released a number of statements that advocate violent jihad and encourage Muslims to participate.  It lists sixteen such statements made during the period under review. 

2.14               Both the Statement of Reasons and Jane’s state that Ansar al-Islam continues to engage in terrorist attacks of a high lethality and frequency. The Committee is of the opinion that this organisation meets the definition for the purpose of re-listing.

Ideology and links to other terrorist groups/networks

Ideology

2.15               AAI’s initial objective was to counter the influence of the secular political parties active in Iraqi Kurdistan, and to establish a local Islamic administration consistent with their hardline Salafist interpretation of Islam. However, following the US-led 2003 coalition invasion of Iraq, AAI's positions were overrun, and the group’s cadres scattered. The group re-emerged later that year under the name Ansar al-Sunna, with the new objective of expelling foreign forces and countering the growing influence of Iraq’s Shia and Kurdish communities.[9]

2.16               In November 2007, having established itself as one of the foremost Sunni insurgent groups in the country, the group reverted to using the original Ansar al-Islam name. Despite its renewed capabilities, AAI is not in a position to achieve its objective of overthrowing the national government, and it is unable to establish secure base areas even in its principal areas of operation. Nevertheless, AAI is a sophisticated insurgent outfit, and it poses a significant threat to government and security force personnel, particularly in the north of Iraq.[10]

2.17               With the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq completed in late December 2011, Jane’s notes that AAI issued a statement on 1 January 2012 claiming that the Iraqi government “was a puppet regime of the Iranian government”. The statement further claimed that while the US still plays a significant role as the “far enemy”, the group would “continue to fight the Iraqi government until the implementation of sharia.”[11]

Links to other terrorist groups/networks

2.18               AAI has no formal alliances with other Salafist groups in Iraq, and has managed to retain a great deal of independence. AAI is, however, aligned ideologically with al-Qa’ida.[12]

2.19               Al Shafi’I, one of the founders of AAI, trained at an al-Qa’ida training camp in Afghanistan and was said to have close ties to Usama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. When captured by Iraqi and US forces on 3 May 2010, al Shafi’I admitted to carrying out joint operations with al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI). [13]

2.20               According to the Statement of Reasons, counter-terrorism operations against AAI and AQI may eventually force the groups to cooperate on a more regular basis in preparing for and conducting attacks to maintain their respective capabilities.[14]

Links to Australia

2.21               There is no information on any direct funding or support links with Australia in the Statement of Reasons.

Threat to Australian interests

2.22               The Statement of Reasons states that in the course of pursuing its objectives in Iraq, AAI is known to have committed or threatened action with the intention of creating a serious risk to the safety of sections of the public globally.[15]

Proscription by the UN or like-minded countries

2.23               Ansar al-Islam is listed on the United Nations 1267 Committee’s consolidated list. AAI is also listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada.

Engagement in Peace and Mediation processes

2.24               There is no information in the Statement of Reasons stating that Ansar al-Islam has engaged in any peace or mediation processes and the Committee has no information to indicate this organisation is engaged in peace or mediation processes.

 

Recommendation 1

  The Committee recommends that the regulation, made under the Criminal Code section 102.1, to list Ansar al-Islam as a terrorist organisation not be disallowed.

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

2.25               The Attorney-General’s Statement of Reasons for re-listing the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistand (IMU) is at Appendix C.

Engagement in terrorism

2.26               The IMU is a militant Islamist group based and operating in Central and South Asia. In 1999 and 2000 the IMU launched incursions into Uzbekistan and southern Kyrgyzstan from the Tavildara area of Tajikistan, carrying out a series of high-profile attacks that gained the group international notoriety.[16]

2.27               The group subsequently relocated to northern Afghanistan, where it established relations with the Taliban and al-Qa’ida, and allegedly became extensively involved in narcotics trafficking. One of its founders, Namangani, was killed during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and the remnants of the IMU fled across the border to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Although its capabilities were severely degraded, the following years saw the IMU regroup in the South Waziristan area of the FATA, where it established close links to a number of Pakistani Taliban groups and reportedly participated in cross-border attacks on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.[17]

2.28               During the latter part of 2009, the IMU claimed that its fighters had been engaged in four months of severe fighting in four northern provinces of Afghanistan and in northwest Pakistan, and that the ranks of the IMU were being filled on a daily basis by new volunteers.[18]

2.29               Notwithstanding increasing pressure from ISAF and Pakistani security forces, reports throughout 2010 indicated that the IMU had re-established an operational presence in northern Afghanistan, and the group also claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Tajikistan.[19]

2.30               The Statement of Reasons lists eight terrorist attacks for which the IMU has claimed responsibility, or which have been reliably attributed to the IMU, during the period under review, the most recent being:

n  19 September 2010 when the IMU claimed responsibility for an ambush of Tajik troops in the Rasht Valley, east of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, killing 25 soldiers and wounding 20 others; and

n  3 September 2010 when the Tajik government blamed the IMU for a suicide car bombing outside the office of the anti-organised crime police unit in Khujand, Tajikistan, killing two police officers and wounding 25 others.[20] 

2.31               In March 2011, the IMU released a video recording “apparently showing a series of attacks on Coalition forces in July-August 2010 in the Chahar Dara District of Afghanistan’s Kunduz Province.” [21]

2.32               On 15 October 2011, two security guards were killed and two others were wounded when a militant detonated a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) targeting a US military and Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) base in the Rukha area of Afghanistan’s Panjshir province. The attack was claimed by both the IMU and the Taliban, and represented the IMU’s first alleged involvement in a suicide attack in Afghanistan, as well as the first suicide attack in the province since the start of the conflict in Afghanistan.[22]

Ideology and links to other terrorist groups/networks

Ideology

2.33               IMU was founded in Tajikistan in 1997 by two Uzbek nationals — Juma Namangani and Tahir Yuldashev — with the primary objective of overthrowing the government of President Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan and installing an Islamic state under sharia (Islamic law).[23]

2.34               In 2001, the IMU expanded its territorial focus to encompass an area stretching from the Caucasus to China’s western province of Xinjiang, under the new banners of the Islamic Party of Turkestan and the Islamic Movement of Turkestan. Despite the name changes, the group’s name continues to be reported as the IMU.[24] 

2.35               A video-taped statement by Yuldashev in 2004, praising the actions of militant Islamists against the US occupation in Iraq, underlined the IMU’s embrace of a more global jihadist ideology with specifically anti-US elements. Nevertheless:

despite cross-pollination with the broader jihadist movement through contacts in Afghanistan, the IMU retains a strong regional focus thanks to its roots as a movement committed to what it considers to be a religiously justified violent struggle against what it views as the apostate regime of Uzbek President Karimov.[25]

Links to other terrorist groups/networks

2.36               As mentioned above, when the group relocated to northern Afghanistan, it established relations with the Taliban and al-Qa’ida, and allegedly became extensively involved in narcotics trafficking.

2.37               The Statement of Reasons notes that the IMU members fight alongside the Taliban and al-Qa’ida against Coalition forces in Afghanistan and Pakistani forces in Pakistan and senior IMU leaders have held positions in the al-Qa’ida hierarchy.[26]  

2.38               However, it has been suggested that the relationship between the IMU and the Taliban is not particularly strong. A senior US military intelligence source told Jane’s in 2010:

‘That relationship [between the Taliban and the IMU] has been waning for a while [and] it wasn’t that close to begin with.’ The source attributed this trend to the differing objectives of the two groups, with the Taliban focused only on Afghanistan and the IMU more regionally-focused. Nonetheless, the IMU’s expansion into northern Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 - and its control from there of narcotics trafficking routes into Central Asia - could not have been achieved without at least the tacit support of local Taliban forces, potentially undermining reports of a deteriorating relationship.[27]

Links to Australia

2.39               There is no information on any direct funding or support links with Australia in the Statement of Reasons.

Threats to Australian Interests

2.40               The Statement of Reasons contains no information on this matter. Australian citizens, including ADF personnel and Australian interests may be threatened as a result of IMU’s support for the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Proscription by the UN or like-minded countries

2.41               The IMU is listed on the United Nations 1267 Committee’s consolidated list.  The IMU is also listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation by the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

Engagement in Peace and Mediation processes

2.42               The Statement of Reasons contains no information on this and the Committee has no information to indicate this organisation is engaged in peace or mediation processes.

 

Recommendation 2

  The Committee recommends that  the regulation, made under the Criminal Code section 102.1, to list Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) as a terrorist organisation not be disallowed.

 Jaish-e-Mohammad

2.43               The Attorney-General’s Statement of Reasons for re-listing Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is at Appendix D.

Engagement in terrorism

2.44               The Statement of Reasons indicates that the JeM is based in Pakistan and operates primarily in Indian Administered Kashmir (IAK). JeM operatives have been involved in attacks against civilian and military targets in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. JeM attacks have included suicide bombings in 2001 and 2003 with most attacks since that time involving grenades and firearms.

2.45               JeM continues to concentrate its efforts against Indian security forces (military and police), government installations and civilians in the disputed territory of IAK. In addition, JeM has broadened its operational focus to join the Afghan Taliban in attacks against government and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. [28]

2.46               The Statement of Reasons notes that Pakistan-based militants, including members of JeM, continue to cross the Line of Control into IAK for the purpose of engaging in acts of terrorism and are often involved in clashes with security forces. Five incidents are listed which can reliably be attributed to JeM since the last re-listing of the group, including:

n  February 2010: A Pakistani militant captured in Dhaka, Bangladesh, admitted to working as a JeM coordinator in that country and as a recruiter for operations in India. Four other JeM militants were also apprehended;

n  December 2009: Security authorities arrested six people for their links to JeM and for planning a terrorist attack in Sargodha, Pakistan;

n  October 2009: Suspected JeM militants attacked a police facility in Srinagar, IAK, killing one policeman and injuring two others; and

n  June 2009: Police in Lahore, Pakistan, claimed to have arrested seven terrorists linked to JeM and the Pakistani Taliban and recovered explosives and weapons.[29]

Ideology and links to other terrorist groups/networks

Ideology

2.47               Established in 2000, JeM was founded by the radical Islamic scholar and jihadist leader, Maulana Masood Azhar.

2.48               JeM’s aim is to unite the IAK with Pakistan under a radical interpretation of Islamic law, and it has openly declared war against the United States and other nations for perceived violations of Muslim rights. It is politically aligned with the radical political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam's Fazlur Rehman faction (JUI-F). Pakistan outlawed JeM in 2002. By 2003, JeM had splintered into Khuddam ul-Islam (KUI), headed by Azhar, and Jamaat ul-Furqan (JUF). Pakistan banned KUA and JUF in November 2003.[30]

2.49               The Statementof Reasons indicates that, despite splintering into factions, JeM is still regarded as a single entity in most reporting.[31]

Links to other terrorist groups/networks

2.50               The statement of reasons notes that extremists in Pakistan often mix across multiple networks and groups, especially at the lower levels, and there is probably an overlap in personnel linked to JeM and other extremist groups including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HuM).[32]

2.51               JeM conducts joint operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan with groups such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Harakat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HuJI), LeJ and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP).  In addition, JeM remains closely associated with al-Qa’ida and the Afghan Taliban. [33]

2.52               The statement of reasons also reports that many JeM operatives have benefited from HuM training programmes, which reportedly were devised by Pakistan’s ISI. JeM reportedly trains its members in Bangladesh, Nepal and the Middle East. Many JeM operatives are believed to be veterans of the wars in Afghanistan.[34]

Links to Australia

2.53               The statement of reasons mentions no direct JeM link to Australia.

Threats to Australian interests

2.54               The statement of reasons contains no information on this matter. Australian citizens, including ADF personnel and Australian interests may be threatened as a result of JeM’s support for the insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Proscription by the UN or like-minded countries

2.55               The JeM is listed on the United Nations 1267 Committee’s consolidated list. The JeM is also listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.

Engagement in peace/mediation processes

2.56               The statement of reasons contains no information on this matter and the Committee has no information to indicate this organisation is engaged in peace or mediation processes.

 

Recommendation 3

  The Committee recommends that the regulation, made under the Criminal Code section 102.1, to list Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) as a terrorist organisation not be disallowed.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi

2.57               The Attorney-General’s Statement of Reasons for re-listing Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) is at Appendix E.

Engagement in terrorism

2.58               Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre states that LeJ activities have been curbed following the arrest of key leaders and the particular focus of the military and police authorities on the group, resulting in the arrest of hundreds of activists.[35]

2.59               Jane’s states that while the group remains a significant threat to Shia, Western, Pakistani Christian and Pakistani government targets, LeJ militants have increasingly begun to act under the umbrella of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), raising questions as to the extent to which the LeJ can be considered to continue to exist as an independent, structured organisation. Such an alliance, according to Jane’s, may also see a broadening of LeJ’s traditional targeting of the Shia community, as was seemingly evidenced by the October 2010 arrest of seven LeJ militants who had allegedly planned to assassinate Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, as well as launch attacks on dams, bridges and military installations. [36]

2.60               Nonetheless, Jane’s expects that, even with the eradication of high-profile leaders, individual acts of terrorism will continue to be directed by the LeJ against Shia Muslims and Christians. The continuing threat posed by the group was underlined by a double suicide attack in Kohat district in April 2010 which left at least 44 civilians dead. The attack, which targeted refugees at a camp for internally displaced persons, was claimed by the Al-Alami faction of the LeJ who cited the presence of Shia Muslims in the camp as the motive for the attack. The group also claimed responsibility for the 1 September 2010 attack in Lahore in which 37 people were killed and 241 others injured, as well as the 7 December suicide attack in Quetta targeting the Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani, during which 10 people were wounded.[37]

2.61               Following the killing of al-Qa’ida leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the LeJ vowed to conduct a series of retaliatory attacks. To this end, a spokesman for the LeJ, identifying himself as Ali Sher Haidri, released a statement in mid-May threatening to avenge Bin Laden’s death by targeting not only government ministers and security force personnel but also Shia Muslims from the ethnic Hazara community in Pakistan. [38]

2.62               The LeJ followed through with these threats with a series of significant attacks in and around Quetta between May and July 2011. On 6 May, eight civilians were killed and 15 others were wounded when suspected LeJ militants in two vehicles opened fire on them with small-arms and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) in the town of Hazara on the outskirts of Quetta. Then on 18 May, seven civilians were killed and six others were wounded in a small-arms attack in Quetta, while on 16 June suspected LeJ militants shot dead the Deputy Director General of the Pakistani Sports Board, Syed Abrar Hussain Shah, in the city. All the victims in these attacks were ethnic Hazaras. The apparent sectarian campaign by LeJ militants continued with three ethnic Hazaras, including two police officers, shot dead in Quetta on 10 July and a further 11 people killed in a small-arms attack by suspected LeJ militants targeting a bus transporting Hazara Shia Muslims in Hazara on 30 July. [39]

2.63               LeJ operations targeting Shia Muslims from the Hazara community continued in late 2011, and 28 people were killed and six wounded in two separate attacks in the Quetta region on 20 September. In the first incident, 26 people were killed and six seriously wounded when between eight and ten gunmen intercepted a coach in the Ghuncha Dori area near Quetta, segregated the Hazaras, and then machine-gunned them. Meanwhile, in the Mastung area, three further Hazara civilians were killed when gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on their vehicle. The LeJ subsequently claimed responsibility for the attacks. [40]

2.64               The statement of reasons lists twelve acts of terrorism attributed to or suspected of being perpetrated by the LeJ, including some as listed above, since its last re-listing. 

Ideology and links to other terrorist groups/networks

Ideology

2.65               The LeJ aims to establish an Islamist Sunni state in Pakistan based on Sharia law, by violent means if necessary. The group also seeks to have all Shias declared kafirs (non believers; literally, one who refuses to see the truth). Its wider objective is to assist in destruction of all other religions.[41]

2.66               The LeJ was founded by Mohammed Ajmal (aka Akram Lahori), Malik Ishaque and Riaz Basra, senior members of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) who broke away following disillusionment that the SSP’s leaders were not following the ideals established by its founder Maulana Haq Nawa Jhangvi, who was assassinated in 1990, almost certainly by Shia extremists.[42]

Links to other terrorist groups/networks

2.67               As mentioned above, Jane’s states that LeJ militants have increasingly begun to act under the umbrella of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Such an alliance, according to Jane’s, may see a broadening of LeJ’s traditional targeting of the Shia community.[43]

2.68               The statement of reasons states that LeJ, as part of the Sunni militant community, has linkages with LeT, JuA/HuM, HuJI and JeM and also notes its strong links to TTP. Additionally, the statement of reasons notes its close relationship with the Afghan Taliban, stating it fought with them against the Northern Alliance and participated in Killings of Shias during the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan.[44]

Links to Australia

2.69               The statement of reasons mentions no direct LeJ link to Australia.

Threats to Australian interests

2.70               Whilst the statement of reasons contains no information on this matter, it can be inferred that, through LeJ’s support for the insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Australian citizens, including ADF personnel and Australian interests may be threatened.

Proscription by the UN or like-minded countries

2.71               The LeJ is listed in the UN 1267 Committee’s consolidated list and as a proscribed terrorist organisation by the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Pakistan.

Engagement in peace/mediation processes

2.72               The statement of reasons contains no information on this matter. The Committee has no information to indicate this organisation is engaged in peace or mediation processes.

 

Recommendation 4

  The Committee recommends the regulation, made under the Criminal Code section 102.1, to list Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ) as a terrorist organisation not be disallowed.

 

Hon Anthony Byrne, MP

Chairman

 

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