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Thursday, February 11

NZ designates four groups as terrorism entities


Prime Minister John Key has announced that four international terrorist groups have been designated as terrorist entities under New Zealand's Terrorism Suppression Act.

This is the first time New Zealand has designated entities not listed by the United Nations.

The groups are Somalia-based Al Shabaab, Spain's Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey, and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) of Colombia. These groups have been designated by a number of other countries under their own national procedures.

Mr Key says, "The designations reflect New Zealand's strong commitment to the international campaign against terrorism. We are determined New Zealand is not a target of, or source of support for, terrorist activities."

The designations are based on New Zealand's international obligations under United Nations Security Resolution 1373 to prevent the activities of terrorists.

"These four groups have engaged in a range of terrorist acts including the indiscriminate killing of civilians and assassination of political leaders.

"As a result of the designations, any assets held by the groups and found in New Zealand either now or in the future will be frozen. It will also be a criminal offence to deal with their property or make property and financial services available to them."

Other support such as fundraising, and recruiting and harbouring terrorists is a criminal offence whether a group is designated as a terrorist entity or not.

"While the risk of a terrorist attack in New Zealand is low, the designations are important to constrain the operations of terrorist groups around the world.

"It would not be in New Zealand's interests to be seen by terrorist groups as an easy place in which to do business."