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Al Qa'ida regulation tabled.

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Media Contact: Carina Tan-Van Baren (02) 6277 7300/ 0419 423 965

21 October 2002 116/02


The Howard Government today tabled a regulation listing Al Qa’ida as a terrorist organisation under our new counter-terrorism legislation.

In accordance with the requirements of the legislation, in order to do so the Attorney-General has to be satisfied that:

• The United Nations Security Council has identified the organisation in a decision relating wholly or partly to terrorism, or in a mechanism under such a decision; and

• The organisation is engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act.

The regulation applies to Al Qa’ida and all the names under which it is known, as specified by the UN Security Council, including “The Base”, Al Qaeda, Islamic Salvation Foundation, The Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites, The Islamic Army for the Liberation of Holy Places, the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, Usama Bin Laden Network and Usama Bin Laden Organisation.

The regulation will come into force after the expiry of 15 sitting days in each of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Listing Al Qa’ida as a terrorist organisation will serve to deter Australians from becoming inadvertently involved in its activities. It will also strengthen Australia’s ability to prosecute related offences under the new counter-terrorism laws. These include:

• directing the activities of a terrorist organisation; • recruiting persons to a terrorist organisation; • receiving training from or providing training to a terrorist organisation; • receiving funds from or making available funds, support or resources to a

terrorist organisation; and • being a member of a terrorist organisation.

While other organisations are under consideration for similar listing, regrettably Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is not among them as it is not currently referred to in UN Security Council decisions relating to terrorism.

As a result of amendments to the Government’s counter-terrorism legislation, insisted upon by the Opposition, such a reference by the Security Council is required before Australia can make its own regulation listing a terrorist organisation.

The Howard Government is doing everything it can to ensure that, as soon as possible, the UN identifies JI in a decision relating wholly or partly to terrorism. Preparations are under way for JI to be considered for listing as soon as UN has made that decision.