Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant listed as a Terrorist Organisation

18 December 2013

The Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, announced today the listing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code.

“ISIL is one of the world’s most deadly and active terrorist organisations,” said Senator Brandis. 

“They conduct frequent and often indiscriminate attacks including the targeting of public gatherings to maximise casualties.”

The listing of ISIL will replace the current listing of Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI). The decision to list ISIL followed careful consideration of advice from security agencies for the purposes of the Criminal Code.

While ISIL and AQI are the same organisation, the Government has moved to specifically list ISIL under this name reflecting the expansion of the organisation’s operating area to include Syria. It does not represent a change in ISIL’s leadership, membership or methods of operation. 

ISIL continues to attract a large number of foreign fighters including Westerners. ISIL’s establishment of independent operations in Syria has resulted in the defection of some Jabhat al-Nusra members to ISIL.

“Listing ISIL sends a strong message to those Australians and others who may wish to participate in the Syrian conflict, said Senator Brandis.

“Their activities may be subject to offences with significant penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment under the Criminal Code.”

An organisation is listed as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code when the Attorney-General is satisfied the organisation is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act or advocates the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur).

The listing of ISIL is valid for three years, after which the organisation may be re-listed.

It is an offence to direct the activities of, be a member of, recruit for, train for and receive training from these organisations. It is also an offence to get funds to, from or for; provide support to; and associate with members of these organisations.