26 May 2021

New Zealander with links to Islamic State to arrive back in country

4:21 pm on 26 May 2021

A New Zealander who is associated with Islamic State will return to New Zealand after their passport or citizenship of another nation was revoked.

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(File image). Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Suppression orders prevent their name being published.

The person - called R in court documents - will be under a one-year interim control order, the first time such an order has been used under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

It means their internet and financial activities will be closely monitored by police, and they are not allowed to possess a passport or any travel documents.

They are also unable to communicate with or engage with terrorist organisations or individuals.

In a High Court judgment published this afternoon, Justice Ellis said there was a real risk the person could engage in terrorism related activities in New Zealand.

"On the evidence before me, I am satisfied that the relevant risk exists," the judgment reads.

"People in similar circumstances to those of R pose a continuing risk of terrorism-related activities to countries to which they are repatriated.

"Some are encouraged to return to Western countries to facilitate ISIL's agenda, which may, in extreme cases, include carrying out terrorist attacks, but more commonly involves providing financial support for ISIL (by earning money in the west and sending it back to ISIL members) and to promote the ideology of ISIL in an attempt to persuade others in the west to support it.

"In R's case, the principal risk is assessed as being that they will provide financial support to ISIL and promote its agenda to others."

R's lawyer Deborah Manning said R did not accept that they posed a risk under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

"They acknowledge, however, that the New Zealand authorities need time to make their own assessment of that, following their arrival here," the judgemnt reads.

R did not oppose the interim control order, but also did not consent to it.