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Australia Lists Terror Group

October 27, 2002

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) _ The government on Sunday listed the militant Islamic network Jemaah Islamiyah as a terrorist group under Australian law, the attorney general said.

``Members of Jemaah Islamiyah are now on notice that they are committing a serious criminal offense, and that they face prosecution and significant penalties,″ Attorney-General Daryl Williams said.

Listing a group as terrorist enables the government to quickly prosecute group members or supporters under tough new laws created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States. Those laws carry prison terms of up to 25 years.

Jemaah Islamiyah is the main suspect in the Oct. 12 bombing of a nightclub packed with Australians and other Western tourists on the Indonesian island of Bali. The blast killed more than 190 people, including about 90 Australians, and injured 300 others.

The Islamic group is believed to be seeking a Muslim super-state in Southeast Asia.

The U.N. Security Council on Friday placed the group on a sanctions list as having links to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terror network.

Any person or group on the list is subject to international sanctions. All U.N. member nations are required to freeze their assets, prevent their movements and block any attempts to sell or transfer arms to them.

Australia and the United States campaigned for the U.N. listing last week. Canberra made the formal request because Australian law prohibits the government from declaring a group a terrorist organization unless the group already is on the U.N. list.

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