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Neo-Nazi Group Has Officially Been Declared A Terror Organisation In Australia

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Neo-Nazi Group Has Officially Been Declared A Terror Organisation In Australia

The neo-nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) has now officially been declared a terrorist organisation by the Australian Federal government.

The addition marks the first time a right-wing group is added to the terror list, joining the likes of Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the move was a step towards banishing the UK-based group's glorification of violence and extremism.

The declaration will effectively ban them from Australia.

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Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Credit: Creative Commons
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Credit: Creative Commons

"SKD adheres to an abhorrent, violent ideology that encourages lone-wolf terrorist actors who would seek to cause significant harm to our way of life and our country," Mr Dutton said.

"Members of SKD have already been convicted of terrorist offences in the United Kingdom, including encouraging terrorism, preparing for a terrorist attack and possession and dissemination of terrorist material.

"SKD's active promotion and encouragement of terrorism has the potential to inspire extremists across the world, and the availability of SKD propaganda online throughout the pandemic has provided fertile ground for radicalisation."

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The head of Australia's ASIO intelligence agency, Mike Burgess, said SKD and other extremist and right-wing groups accounted for a whopping 40 per cent of terror-related investigations carried out in the country over the past 12 months.

The addition of SKD to the list of terrorist organisations now means 'offences relating to terrorist organisations attract penalties of up to 25 years' imprisonment'.

In early March, terror expert Greg Barton encouraged the plan to add SKD to the terror list, saying the move would mark a 'significant' step in tackling the growing threat of right-wing extremism.

"It's not just a symbolic move - it is a very practical move in empowering law enforcement to be able to take action before somebody inspires violence," he told SBS News at the time.

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"If they are not a proscribed group, it is very hard to take action when somebody hasn't actually committed an act of violence. Stop them promoting, stop them fundraising - stop them recruiting."

It comes as authorities around the world are beginning to enforce laws that recognise right-wing extremist groups as terrorist entities.

The director of the FBI recently stated white supremacist groups - along with other racially motivated extremists - are considered to be America's 'top threat'.

Christopher Wray testified before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month, explaining that people on the far-right are much more dangerous than many realise.

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"The top threat we face from [domestic violent extremists] continues to be those we identify as Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVEs), specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race," he said.

The FBI has since elevated the threat of white supremacist groups to be its highest priority - which now puts them on par with international terrorist organisations such as ISIS, as well as homegrown terrorist groups.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: terrorism, Australia

Jessica Lynch
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