The Australian Government has today (20 July) added the Al-Qa'ida aligned, Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to its list of terrorist organisations.
Under Australia's counter-terrorism laws, it will now be an offence to associate with, train with or provide training for, receive funds from or give funds to, and recruit on behalf of AQAP.
The government also announced that Al-Qa'ida, Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb and Jemaah Islamiyah had been relisted as terrorist organisations. These three groups were relisted on security advice that they were directly or indirectly associated with the preparation, planning or fostering of terrorist acts.
AQAP was formed in January 2009 and mainly operates in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in December 2009. Last week, US authorities froze the assets of one of the group's leaders, the American born cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, on the grounds that he was attempting to raise funds for terrorist organisations.
AQAP is the 19th group to be listed as a terrorist organisation under Australia's counter-terrorism laws. The list also included the Kurdistan Workers Party, Hizballah External Security Organisation and Hamas's Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.