THE Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) hopes the federal government’s announcement this week that it plans to declare a British far-right group as a terrorist organisation “will extend to other local groups”.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Monday he had received a recommendation from spy agency ASIO to formally proscribe the Sonnenkrieg Division, which has been outlawed in Britain, as a terror group.
Noting the organisation has a “presence that we’re particularly worried about in the UK”, Dutton warned, “Their reach goes into the minds of young people and Australians here.
“People are on the internet, they have the ability to join these chat groups to hear this disinformation, these lies and this sick ideology.
“Kids and adults can be turned very quickly and become martyrs for these causes.”
Speaking on Nine’s A Current Affair program, Dutton said supporters of Sonnenkrieg Division could face up to 25 years’ jail once the group is listed.
He added, “If there are other organisations that need to be listed, ASIO will consider those matters.”
Responding to the announcement, ADC chair Dvir Abramovich, who featured prominently on the ACA program about homegrown extremists, applauded the government for its “powerful first step in addressing the emerging terrorist threat of neo-Nazi groups”.
“Failing to recognise the grave risk this deadly form of hatred poses is to invite tragedy, and we applaud this historic shift by Minister Dutton,” Abramovich said.
“The government has listened to our concerns about the dramatic global uptick in white-supremacist violence, and the dangerous tactics of its adherents, and this designation, which we hope will extend to other local groups, is a meaningful and powerful tool in dealing with this problem.”
The ACA episode focused on the Melbourne-based National Socialist Network group, who held a neo-Nazi gathering in the Grampians area over the Australia Day weekend.