(New York, N.Y.) – The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) released the following statement today applauding the Australian government’s announcement that it would designate Hezbollah and The Base as terrorist organizations:
“CEP commends the Australian government for its intent to declare both The Base and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. Acknowledging the dangers these extremist groups pose to public safety is a critical first step in countering such threats. We particularly applaud the fact that Australia will upgrade its terror designation of Hezbollah from its previous designation of only Hezbollah’s transnational unit, the External Security Organization. The shift in Australia’s position recognizes the dangerous and violent ambitions of Hezbollah’s top leadership, which directs Hezbollah’s politicians and militants alike. Some governments continue to draw an artificial distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings, but momentum is building across the world to recognize Hezbollah as a singular terrorist entity. CEP calls upon all nations to follow the example set by Australia, Germany, the U.K., and of course the U.S. in recognizing Hezbollah as a unified terrorist group following a violent, extremist ideology.”
Several governments, including the European Union, ban only Hezbollah’s so-called military wing, distinguishing it from the group’s political leadership. There is no distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings. Both are subservient to Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah’s leadership has repeatedly confirmed Hezbollah’s unitary leadership, which informs both its militants and its politicians. In a 2000 interview with a Lebanese newspaper, Hezbollah deputy leader Naim Qassem said that “Hezbollah’s secretary-general is the head of the Shura Council and also the head of the Jihad Council, and this means that we have one leadership, with one administration.” In July 2020, 260 legislators from the European Union, United Kingdom, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, and Israel called on the European Union to ban Hezbollah in its entirety.
The Base is a neo-Nazi, white-supremacist network that describes itself as an “international survivalist and self-defense network” training its members for an oncoming race war. Since its founding, the network’s presence has been recorded in North America, Europe, South Africa, and Australia. The organization’s present transnational reach outside of the United States is unknown, but in recent months The Base has sought to revitalize its ranks while holding survivalist training camps around the United States.
To read CEP’s The Base resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s Hezbollah resource, please click here.