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Tuesday, 14 October 2014


New Zealand's prime minister says a review of how the country deals with "foreign terrorist fighters" is likely to recommend urgent law changes. John Key said current laws did not address the risk posed by radicalised fighters returning to New Zealand after exposure to the Islamic State (IS) militant group, also known as ISIL, in Iraq and Syria. "We know that a small number of New Zealanders have travelled overseas to engage in the fighting," he said. "We're also aware of people within New Zealand who have a desire to travel and fight for ISIL. "Although the number of New Zealanders in these situations is modest compared with the actual numbers of our partners, they are significant relative to New Zealand's size." The country's terrorism threat level has been raised from very low to low, meaning an attack was considered "possible, but not expected". Mr Key said New Zealanders could not be complacent about the potential threat posed by returning fighters or people who may have fallen under the influence of jihadist propaganda on the internet. "If anyone believes that there's no risk of a form of domestic terrorism here, then they're actually deluded," he said. New Zealand's Cabinet has ordered a review that will consider a range of issues including tighter passport controls and the effectiveness of current laws to deal with people who fight with terrorist groups overseas. The four-week review will be led by the department of prime minister and cabinet. Mr Key said if the review should recommend law changes, he would seek bipartisan support to push them through before Christmas. He said it was important New Zealand's laws were aligned with those of its close allies, such as Australia, which recently announced a suite of new anti-terrorism laws. LINK:

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