Australia: Fighting for Hizbullah is illegal

Australians could be committing a serious offense under Australian law if they fight for Hizbullah in Lebanon, the attorney-general warned Thursday. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock warned that traveling to a foreign country to fight under some circumstances is an offense under Australia's toughened counter-terrorism laws punishable by 25 years in prison. "The foreign incursion offense does not apply if a person is with armed forces of a government and that would mean it wouldn't apply in relation to Israel or Lebanese defense forces," Ruddock told Parliament. "However, Australians who engage in hostile activities with Hizbullah or the external security organization could well be committing an offense," he added. An Australian-Israeli dual citizen was among IDF soldiers killed in the current conflict in southern Lebanon that began on July 13. Prime Minister John Howard, a staunch ally of the United States, rejected an appeal by his government's Muslim advisers last week to remove Hizbullah from the nation's list of banned terror organizations.