Source: Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Submission 1
(Also known as: Al-Qa'ida in Iraq; Al-Qa'ida in Iraq — Zarqawi; Al-Qa'ida of Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; Al-Qa'ida of Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers; Al-Tawhid; Al-Tawhid and al-Jihad; Brigades of Tawhid; Islamic State of Iraq; Dawla al-Islamiya; Dawla al-lslamiya fi al-Iraq wa as-Sham; Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham; The Islamic State in Syria and the Levant;; Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad; Kateab al-Tawhid; Mujahidin Shura Council; Qaida of the Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; Tanzeem Qa'idat al-Jihad Bilad al Raafidaini; Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al Rafidayn; The al-Zarqawi network; The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham; The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; The Islamic Caliphate; The Islamic Caliphate State; The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria; The Monotheism and Jihad Group; The Organisation Base of Jihad Country of the Two Rivers; The Organisation Base of Jihad Mesopotamia; The Organisation of Jihad's Base in the Country of the Two Rivers; Unity and Holy Struggle; Unity and Holy War; Unity and Jihad Group.)
This statement is based on publicly available information which has been sourced by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection about the Islamic State. This statement of reasons demonstrates that Islamic State is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act; or advocates the doing of a terrorist act; and is opposed to Australia, or to Australia’s interests, values, democratic beliefs, rights or liberties, so that if a person were to fight for or be in the service of Islamic State, the person would be acting inconsistently with their allegiance to Australia.
This statement takes into account the information included in the Attorney-General's list of terrorist organisations and published by the Attorney-General’s Department (http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Listedterroristorganisations/Pages/default.aspx). In addition to taking into account the information considered by the Attorney-General for the purposes of his decision to re-list Islamic State as a ‘terrorist organisation’ with effect from 11 July 2014, this statement considers new information sourced by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and corroborated by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in relation to Islamic State.
Basis for declaring a terrorist organisation
1. Section 35AA of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 Cth (Citizenship Act) provides that a ‘declared terrorist organisation’ is any terrorist organisation, within the meaning of paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘terrorist organisation’ in subsection 102.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 Cth (Criminal Code), that the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, by legislative instrument, declares is a declared terrorist organisation for the purposes of section 35AA of the Citizenship Act.
2. Under paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘terrorist organisation’ in subsection 102.1(1) of the Criminal Code, a terrorist organisation means an organisation specified by the regulations for the purposes of the paragraph. By subsection 102.1(2), before a regulation may be made specifying an organisation for the purposes of paragraph (b) the Attorney-General must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation:
is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, or assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act; or
advocates the doing of a terrorist act.
3. Under subsection 35AA(2) of the Citizenship Act, before declaring an organisation that has been specified by regulation under the Criminal Code to be a declared terrorist organisation for the purposes of the Citizenship Act, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection 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; or
advocates the doing of a terrorist act; and
is opposed to Australia, or to Australia's interests, values, democratic beliefs, rights or liberties, so that if a person were to fight for or be in the service of such an organisation the person would be acting inconsistently with their allegiance to Australia.
Details of the organisation: Islamic State
4. The Islamic State has been specified by Regulation made under the Criminal Code for the purposes of paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘terrorist organisation’ in subsection 102.1(1) of the Criminal Code: Criminal Code (Terrorist Organisation – Islamic State) Regulation 2014.
5. Islamic State is an Iraq and Syria-based Sunni extremist group and former al-Qa’ida affiliate that adheres to the global jihadist ideology. Islamic State follows an extreme interpretation of Islam which is anti-Western, promotes sectarian violence and targets those who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels and apostates. Islamic State’s announcement of a caliphate claims the land from Aleppo in Syria to Diyala in Iraq, being the Sunni-dominated areas of both countries. Eventually, it aims to establish a salafist-orientated Islamist state spanning Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Levant. Islamic State has also accepted pledges of allegiance from like-minded groups elsewhere in the world.
6. The group became an al-Qa'ida affiliate in October 2004 when its former leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, pledged allegiance to Usama bin Laden. In late 2011, the group established operations in Syria through its former subordinate organisation, Jabhat aI-Nusra. In April 2013, current leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the creation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to subsume Jabhat al-Nusra and consolidate operations across Iraq and Syria.
7. Jabhat al-Nusra leader Abu-Muhammad al-Jawlani attempted to annul the announcement by pledging allegiance to al-Qa'ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. In June 2013, al-Zawahiri ruled that Jabhat al-Nusra was the only al-Qa'ida affiliate in Syria and annulled the creation of ISIL. However, al-Baghdadi refused to follow this ruling and confirmed the creation of ISIL. On 29 June 2014, Baghdadi announced the formation of an Islamic Caliphate in areas it controls, with himself as the Caliph (leader of the global Muslim community). Currently listed as the Islamic State under the Criminal Code, it continues to operate in both Syria and Iraq as one consolidated organisation separate from Jabhat alNusra.
8. Since January 2014, the group has focussed on capturing and consolidating its control over areas of Iraq including parts of Anbar Province and most of Ninawa Province—including Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. It remains in control of large areas of the provinces of Raqqah and Dayr az-Zawr in Syria, as well as parts of Homs, al-Hassakah and Aleppo provinces.
9. Islamic State’s current leader and proclaimed caliph is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri. He has many aliases and is usually known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Abu Du'a. Al-Baghdadi became the leader following the May 2010 death of his predecessor, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. He is currently located in either Syria or Iraq and leads Islamic State in both countries. In August 2013, al-Baghdadi appointed Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami as the Islamic State emir for Syria.
10.Islamic State has a hierarchical structure, featuring an overall leadership council and provincial governments in the regions it controls in both Iraq and Syria. Regional and specialist cells act with relative autonomy under general direction from senior leaders. Islamic State affiliates elsewhere in the world act independently from the organisation's leaders in Iraq and Syria.
11.Islamic State has several thousand members in Iraq, mostly young Iraqi Sunni men. Its numbers were boosted in 2014 by its success in capturing Iraqi cities and coercing or convincing Sunni tribes to ally with the group. It has also claimed responsibility for several mass prison breaks throughout Iraq that have freed hundreds of its members, most of whom are still at large.
12.In Syria, Islamic State has several thousand additional members drawn from both Syrian nationals and foreign fighters. Due to Islamic State’s Iraqi origins, a large number of its Syria-based senior operatives and leadership are Iraqi nationals. Fighters in both countries are able to pass across the border, which is no longer recognised by Islamic State.
Recruitment and funding
13. Islamic State uses a combination of threats, incentives and ideology to recruit new members, including a sophisticated social media campaign in several languages. Its recruitment efforts mostly target young Sunni men worldwide, exploiting anger at the Iraqi and Syrian governments' perceived mistreatment of Sunni Muslims and encouraging them to join it in restoring an Islamic caliphate. It also aims to recruit former Iraqi security force members to gather intelligence and undermine the performance of its enemies.
14. The group continues to attract a large number of foreign fighters, including Westerners. Although foreign fighters in Syria with an extremist mindset were initially drawn to Jabhat al-Nusra, Islamic State’s effective social media messaging, willingness to accept members rejected by Jabhat al-Nusra and highly publicised military successes have resulted in a greater flow of international recruits to Islamic State and the defection of some Jabhat al-Nusra members.
15. Islamic State uses funds donated for operations in Syria to also fund its activities in Iraq and transfer weapons, fighters and resources between the two countries. It also sources funding through extortion, kidnapping, theft, black marketeering, smuggling and legitimate businesses.
Paragraph 35AA(2)(a) of the Citizenship Act
Directly or indirectly engaged in the doing of terrorist acts
16. Islamic State is one of the world's deadliest and most active terrorist organisations and conducts daily attacks on security forces and civilians. In addition to its war against the security forces in Iraq and Syria — and against rival opposition groups — it conducts frequent attacks against civilians. Its attacks often aim to maximize casualties and publicity by targeting crowds and gatherings at festivals and religious events. It also conducts public executions and violent punishments in areas it controls.
17. Islamic State’s operations in Iraq consist of military operations and regular military and terrorist attacks, mostly in central Iraq and the provinces to the north and west of Baghdad. Attacks in the Kurdish-majority northern provinces and the Shia-majority provinces in the south are less common. Islamic State’s primary targets in Iraq are security forces; Shia civilians in public areas, including cafes, mosques and markets; political figures; community and tribal leaders who publicly condemn Islamic State; and anti-Islamic State militias. By attacking these targets, it hopes to undermine security force efforts to contain the group, destroy public confidence in the security forces and provoke a widespread revolt against the government. It also attacks and controls elements of infrastructure including bridges and dams, using them to cause major damage through flooding and to restrict Iraqi security forces' freedom of movement.
18. Islamic State’s operations in Syria consist of suicide bombings, sniping and small-arms attacks against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and against Syrian armed opposition groups, which it considers apostates and infidels. Islamic State and its followers have also targeted Turkish and Kurdish militants in northern Syria, Syrian refugees and Kurdish organisations in Turkey, Hezbollah-related targets in Lebanon, and Kurdish interests and tourists in Turkey.
19. Significant attacks either claimed by, or reliably attributed to, Islamic State since December 2013 include:
On 22 March 2016: Islamic State-linked coordinated explosions (including a suicide bombing) at Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station in Belgium, killed 35 and injured more than 300 people.
On 19 March 2016: An Islamic State-linked suicide bomber killed four tourists in Itsiklal Street in Istanbul.
1 February 2016: A car bomb, followed by two suicide bombings, killed more than 70 people and injured a further 40 near the Shia Sayyida Zaynab shrine in Damascus, Syria. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
12 January 2016: A suicide bombing in Istanbul believed to have been perpetrated by Islamic State killed 10 German tourists.
28 January 2016: Islamic State launched a wave of attacks against Iraqi soldiers and pro-government fighters in Ramadi, Iraq. The suicide attacks, sniper fire and roadside bombs killed more than 30. Over the previous week, Islamic State killed a further 50 soldiers and pro-government fighters in attacks on the same area.
11 January 2016: Islamic State claimed responsibility for a series of attacks against civilian targets in Iraq. The assaults killed 51 people, and included a car bombing and armed attack against the Jawaher shopping centre in Baghdad, a double suicide bombing at a casino in Muqdadiya and a car bombing near a restaurant in Baquba.
13 November 2015: A group of attackers conducted simultaneous armed assaults against a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars in Paris, France. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which killed 130 and injured hundreds of other.
10 August 2015: Two bombs in Baquba and Kanaan in Iraq's Diyala province killed nearly 60 people and injured a further 105. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.
17 July 2015: A car bomb exploded in a crowded market in the Iraqi town of Khan Bani Saad, killing 115 adults and children who were celebrating the end of Ramadan. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which injured a further 170 people.
2 May 2015: Islamic State claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in Baghdad that killed two traffic police officers and 17 civilian.
Directly or indirectly fostering and/or advocating the doing of terrorist attacks
20. Several media statements have been issued by the group that advocate the doing of terrorist acts. These include:
On 30 January 2016, a Twitter user posted a video product by an Islamic State media office threatening attacks and violence against the West that would be worse than the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris and the September 2001 al-Qa'ida attacks in the United States. The video featured the execution of five captives.
On 24 January 2016, Islamic State released a video about the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks. The video ended with a statement threatening similar attacks in the United Kingdom.
On 3 January 2016, Islamic State released a video of the execution of five 'spies', along with a threat against the United Kingdom and those involved in the coalition fight against Islamic State.
On 16 November 2015, Islamic State released a video warning the United States and other countries conducting air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq that the group would conduct attacks in their homelands.
On 14 April 2015, a Twitter user released a video produced by Islamic State’s al-Hayat Media Centre encouraging terrorist attacks against the United States and other Western countries. The video included footage of beheadings and other executions carried out by Islamic State.
On 21 September 2014, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani released a statement calling on its followers in the West to kill citizens of Western countries in terrorist attacks.
21. On the basis of the above information, Islamic State continues to be directly and/or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in and fostering the doing of terrorist acts and advocates the doing of terrorist acts, involving threats to human life and serious damage to property.
22. In the course of pursuing its objectives, Islamic State is known to have engaged in or have advocated the doing of acts that:
cause, or could cause, serious damage to property, or the death of persons, or endanger a person's life or create a serious risk to a person's safety;
are done with the intention of advancing Islamic State’s political, religious or ideological causes;
are done with the intention of coercing or intimidating the government of a foreign country (be that Iraq or Syria or elsewhere); and
are done with the intention of intimidating sections of the public globally.
23. This assessment is corroborated by information from reliable and credible intelligence sources.
Paragraph 35AA(2)(b) of the Citizenship Act
Organisation's opposition to Australia or Australia's interests, values, democratic beliefs, rights or liberties
24. Islamic State has openly called for attacks against Australia and its interests, both because of the group's anti-Western ideology and because of Australia's support to military operations against Islamic State. Islamic State promotes its opposition to Australia through propaganda material, foreign fighter videos and vitriolic speeches by senior leadership.
The official online magazine of Islamic State, Dabiq, makes direct comments inciting attacks against Australia and praises previous terror attacks conducted within Australia.
"This month, an attack was carried out in Sydney by a Muslim who resolved to join the mujahidin of the IS in their war against the crusader coalition. He did not do so by undertaking the journey to the lands of the Khilafah and fighting side-by-side with his brothers but rather, by acting alone and striking the kuffar where it would hurt them most — in their own lands and on the very streets that they presumptively walk in safety."
Dabiq Issue 6, page 3, 29 Dec 2014 "AI-Qa'idah of Waziristan: A Testimony from Within."
Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the official spokesperson of Islamic State, delivers inflammatory speeches directing jihad against the countries combatting Islamic State, including Australia, and encourages supporters to join their cause by conducting domestic attacks.
"So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone's advice and do not seek anyone's verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.'"
The Islamic State Magazine: Dabiq, Issue 4, page 9, 11 October 2014
"We will argue, before Allah, against any Muslim who has the ability to shed a single drop of crusader blood but does not do so, whether with an explosive device, a bullet, a knife, a car, a rock, or even a boot or a fist. Indeed, you saw what a single Muslim did with Canada and its parliament of shirk, and what our brothers in France, Australia, and Belgium did — may Allah have mercy upon them all and reward them with good on behalf of Islam."
The Islamic State Magazine: Dabiq Issue 7 page 37, 12 February 2015
Islamic State produces a large volume of other propaganda through social media, much of it created by its various media offices. This includes videos, audio media and statements, which have included specific calls for attacks against Australia and its interests.
"My beloved brothers in Islam in Australia, now is the time to riot, now is the time to wake up... you must start attacking before they attack you."
Australian Islamic State jihadist Neil Prakash, 'Stories from the Land of the Living', al-Hayat Media Centre, 21 April 2015
25. Islamic State and its supporters aim to radicalize Australian Muslims to adopt its extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam and encourage violent jihad against non-believers. The purpose of this radicalisation is to increase recruitment of foreign fighters and encourage terrorist attacks across the globe — including within Australia.
Susceptible Australians are influenced toward radicalisation through a coordinated Islamic State propaganda campaign and exposure to extremist ideology within Australia.
More than 60 Australians are currently fighting with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Australians fighting with Islamic State have been involved in acts of violence including suicide bombings and beheadings; incidents subsequently used to support Islamic State’s propaganda campaign.
2014: Australian jihadist Khaled Sharrouf was likely involved in execution of Iraqi soldiers.
August 2014: Australian jihadist Khaled Sharrouf's son, aged seven, was photographed holding severed head.
12 March 2015: Australian jihadist Jake Bilardi conducted a suicide attack against civilians in Ramadi, Iraq.
Islamic State has claimed that it inspired or influenced several terrorist attacks in Australia and has openly praised the incidents through online propaganda.
23 September 2014: 18-year-old Numan Haider stabbed two counter-terrorism police officers in Endeavour Hills, Victoria.
15-16 December 2014: Man Haron Monis held hostage ten customers and eight employees of a Lindt chocolate café located at Martin Place in Sydney, NSW.
2 October 2015: Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, a 15-year-old boy, shot and killed Curtis Cheng, an unarmed police civilian, outside the New South Wales Police Force headquarters in Parramatta, NSW.
26. Based on the information available, it is clear that Islamic State is opposed to Australia and Australia's interests. Islamic State leadership have openly called for attacks against Australia and Australian citizens while official Islamic State propaganda seeks to radicalise Australian Muslims in an effort to swell Islamic State ranks and encourage domestic terror attacks.
Fighting for or being in the service of such an organisation indicates that a person is acting inconsistently with their allegiance to Australia
27. Australians who are fighting for or are in the service of Islamic State are acting inconsistently with their allegiance to Australia. The primary objective of Islamic State is to establish a worldwide caliphate and the organisation is using extreme violence to achieve its aim. This objective is in direct opposition to Australia's national interest, international stability and a rules-based global order. Further, Islamic State has openly expressed a desire to conduct attacks in Australia and against Australians. Australians who fight for or are in the service of Islamic State will be expected to engage in acts of violence, in support of Islamic State objectives, or to actively encourage the radicalisation of Australian citizens in an effort to increase recruitment or orchestrate terrorist attacks domestically; conduct which is incompatible with the shared values of the Australian community.
28. On the basis of the above information, it is considered that Islamic State is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of terrorist acts; and advocates the doing of terrorist acts.
29. In addition, the above information demonstrates that Islamic State is opposed to Australia or to Australia's interests, values, democratic beliefs, rights or liberties, so that if a person were to fight for or be in the service of such an organisation the person would be acting inconsistently with their allegiance to Australia.