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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Proscription of Hizballah: a change in the UK and how Australia compares

The United Kingdom has expanded its proscription of Hizballah from just the military wing to include the whole organisation, effective from 1 March 2019. The Home Secretary stated that he hoped Australia and New Zealand would be listening carefully, and that he would raise the matter at the Five Eyes ministerial to be held in the UK later this year. This FlagPost outlines the bans in place in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK, the UK Government’s rationale for the recent change, and the Australian Government’s response. Read more...

Parliamentary Library analysis of the latest counter-terrorism Bill

On 5 August 2014, the Government announced significant reforms to counter-terrorism laws. The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014, introduced on 24 September 2014, proposes extensive amendments to a range of Commonwealth legislation as part of the Government’s response to the increased threat of terrorism posed by Australians engaging in, and returning from, conflicts in foreign States. The Parliamentary Library’s Bills Digest provides independent analysis of the Bill, and identifies the following key issues for debate. Read more...

The Islamic Caliphate and Australia

In June 2014, the Islamic State (IS) declared an Islamic Caliphate spanning the area from Syria’s Aleppo governorate in the west, to Iraq’s province of Diyala in the east. The area under IS control now covers up to one third of Iraq, including the city of Mosul, which previously had a strong Christian community, but who have now mostly been forced to flee.  Read more...

Al-Shabaab: links to background and analysis

 It has been widely reported that the Somali militant group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nairobi shopping mall on 21 September 2013 which cost at least 62 lives. This FlagPost provides information on the listing of al-Shabaab as a terrorist organisation in Australia and other countries, and links to publicly available information on the organisation.Terrorist listingsAl-Shabaab has been listed as a terrorist organisation by the Australian Government since 22 August 2009, with the listing last renewed on 18 August 2012. The statement of reasons outlines details about al-Shabaab, including its objectives and activities, the basis for listing it as a terrorist organ... Read more...

Delisting the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MeK)

Two months ago, on 28 September 2012, the US Secretary of State formally removedthe Iranian group, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MeK), from the US Government’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) and delisted it as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, in recognition of the group’s renunciation of violence. This is a significant milestone for the MeK which was first designated as an FTO by the US Government in 1997 and whose repeated attempts since then to be delisted have failed a number of times. The delisting follows similar rulings in the UK in 2008 and the EU in 2009. While Australia has never proscribed the MeK as a terrorist organisation, in December 2001 the Australian Governm... Read more...

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