Australia’s National Socialist Network: a call to proscribe it as a terrorist organisation

August 17, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Three senior members of the Federal Opposition are querying why the National Socialist Network and Combat-18 have not been branded as a terrorist organisation following journalist Nick McKenzie’s expose screened on 60 Minutes and published in The Age and ‘The Sydney Morning Herald.

Gramplans rally Photo: Facebook

Shadow Treasurer Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Senator Kristina Keneally and Shadow Minister for Cultural Affairs Andrew Giles say because are active here in Australia, it raises the very serious question of why the Morrison Government has not yet proscribed these groups as terrorist organisations.

In a joint statement, they said: “ASIO has revealed right-wing extremism accounts for 50 per cent of its counter-terrorism work and the AFP has warned that young Australians are being ‘aggressively radicalised’ by right-wing extremists.

We need to take their advice seriously, which starts with making sure our terrorism laws and countering violent extremism programs – which have been understandably focussed on Islamic extremism for two decades – are fit for purpose for right-wing extremism.

A disturbing rise in Australian right-wing extremism is why Labor successfully pushed for an inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee into this growing terrorist threat.

There is no place in our successful multicultural society for the hatred and division promoted by right-wing extremists.

Until very recently, Australia was the only Five Eyes country that has not proscribed any far-right groups as terrorists.  The only right-wing extremist group listed in Australia is the Sonnenkrieg Division, a group based in the UK with limited ties to Australia.

We know that disinformation is deliberately used by right-wing extremist groups who want to create division and disunity in Australia.

It’s why Labor has been condemning those in Parliament, including George Christensen, who have been spreading disinformation about COVID-19 and asking questions in Senate estimates about QAnon.

It’s frightening that Mr Morrison is still doing business with those who give credibility to conspiracy.

It is time for the Prime Minister to clearly condemn right-wing extremism and those in his own Government who give comfort and support to far-right conspiracies and views.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry welcomed the deep and thorough investigation into members of the neo-Nazi group, National Socialist Network (NSN), by those who infiltrated the group, and the public reporting by The Age and SMH journalists, and its airing on 60 Minutes.

“The media coverage of neo-Nazi activity in Australia would have shocked many Australians, but it came as no surprise to us,” said ECAJ Research Director Julie Nathan.

The ECAJ has been documenting the activities of neo-Nazi groups and individuals in its annual reports on Antisemitism in Australia for many years and has had many articles on the subject published in the general media.

The ECAJ’s detailed submission to the parliamentary Inquiry into matters relating to extremist movements and radicalism in Australia earlier this year provided an extensive analysis of the development of neo-Nazi activity in Australia in recent years.”

ASIO Director General Mike Burgess made a landmark announcement about the burgeoning problem of right-wing extremism in February 2020.

Hopefully, the public exposure of a secretive group of fanatics devoted to the violent ideology of “race war”, will make it more difficult for them to operate.

Although Nazism has never had deep roots in Australia and its racist and genocidal ideology is deeply repugnant to most people, neo-Nazis represent a clear threat to Australia’s freedoms and democratic institutions, and a threat to the lives and safety of the targets of their hatred, most especially Jewish Australians.

The involvement in these groups of individuals who have a background in the armed services and in the security industry, with access to firearms, is deeply concerning. Anyone involved in these groups should immediately be stripped of their weapons and of their qualifications and eligibility to serve in any of those capacities.

Julie Nathan added: “We look forward to law enforcement agencies building on the excellent work of Australia’s intelligence agencies and prosecuting those responsible to the full extent of the law.”

 

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