For the first time ever, a right-wing extremist group is set to be formally listed as a terrorist organisation in Australia.
Following a recommendation from ASIO, Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed he will formally propose that UK-based neo-nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) be listed among the country's banned terrorist organisations.
SKD is a United Kingdom arm of the US-based Atomwaffen Division, which a neo-Nazi terrorist network formed in the US six years ago.
The listing would subsequently make it an offence to be a member of the group, of which the penalty could range to up to 25 years in prison.
Once their listing as a terror group has been officially confirmed, SKD will then effectively be banned in Australia, with terror expert Greg Barton saying the move marked 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.
"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."
Currently, there are currently 27 listed terror groups in Australia, including Islamic terror groups like Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Boko Haram and Jemaah Islamiyah.
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 this week and revealed people on the far-right are much more dangerous than many realise.
"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.
During his testimony, Wray vehemently condemned the riots on the US Capitol building on January 6, which saw five people lose their lives in the chaos.
"I was appalled that you, our country's elected leaders, were victimised right here in these very halls," he said.
"That siege was criminal behaviour, pure and simple. It's behaviour that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism.
"It's got no place in our democracy. And tolerating it would make a mockery of our nation's rule of law."
The Department of Homeland Security has also labelled white supremacist violence as the biggest domestic terrorism threat facing the country.
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