7 Mar 2019

Listen: Kiwi jihadi Mark Taylor says he left IS because he was 'starving, begging'

10:39 am on 7 March 2019

In his latest interview from a Syrian prison, Mark Taylor said he left Islamic State (IS) because he was starving and had been reduced to begging and scavenging.

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor Photo: Screenshot / 60 Minutes

The interview with The National newspaper journalist Campbell MacDiarmid ranges from why he wanted to go to Syria to what his role was there and how he became disillusioned with life under IS.

Listen: Excerpts from journalist Campbell MacDiarmid's interview with Mark Taylor in prison in Syria.

Mr Taylor said he felt "stabbed in the back" by the New Zealand government, which has made it clear it cannot help him leave the Kurdish prison in Syria and obtain a new passport. But under international obligations Mr Taylor would not be denied access to New Zealand because he was still a citizen.

The jailed IS fighter said he would like to start some kind of a medicinal cannabis company if he returned to New Zealand, but if that wasn't legalised then "maybe a coffee business".

Read a full transcript of The National's interview with Mark Taylor here.

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