EFESydney, Australia

Australia on Wednesday designated Lebanon's Shia Muslim militant group Hezbollah and United States-based neo-Nazi group The Base as terrorist organizations.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that the decision was made as the country reopens for the first time since 2020 Covid-19 border closures, which will lead to an increased risk of attacks.

"We know that as we open our international borders, people will start to gather together, and gather in greater numbers in crowds. That’s the sort of thing that terrorists look for," she said during a televised press conference.

The Base is "a violent, racist, neo-Nazi group known by security agencies to be planning and preparing terrorist attacks. The Base is currently proscribed as a terrorist organization by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom and is known to have organized paramilitary training camps overseas," she added.

Andrews added that Hezbollah, which has civilian, political and militant wings, "continues to threaten terrorist attacks and support terrorist organizations," which had led her to list it as a terrorist organization in its entirety.