Media release

16 March 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia would list the Al-Nusrah Front (Jabhat al-Nusrah), which is active in Syria, as a terrorist organisation under laws implementing United Nations sanctions to suppress terrorist activity.

“There is evidence that Al-Nusrah has direct links with Al-Qaida in Iraq, which supplies it with weapons, recruits and equipment,” Senator Carr said.

“It is a group with around 5,000 fighters in Syria and a history of suicide attacks and bombings.

“I’m advised Al-Nusrah is active against the Syrian military but also against civilian targets.

“There is no place for violent extremist groups such as Al-Nusrah in Syria or elsewhere.

“Al-Nusrah is also listed as a terrorist group by the United States and a listing is under consideration by other states.

“Australia is taking a leading role in the push to starve Al-Nusrah of funds and reduce its capacity to carry out terrorist strikes.”

The listing of Al-Nusrah as a terrorist organisation will be gazetted today (March 15) and is effective immediately.

Under the listing, it is a criminal offence in Australia to make funds or assets available to Al-Nusrah, punishable by up to 10 years jail. Assets identified as owned or controlled by Al-Nusrah must be frozen and details of those assets immediately notified to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The listing is effective for three years and may be extended.

Australia’s listing of Al-Nusrah follows similar action by the United States on December 11, 2012. Al-Qaida in Iraq was listed as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations Security Council in 2004, and further listed by the Australian Government under the Criminal Code in 2005.

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