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NZ lists Jemaah Islamiyah as terrorist group

NZ lists Jemaah Islamiyah as terrorist group

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today the government has listed Jemaah Islamiyah as a terrorist organisation under new counter-terrorism legislation enacted this month.

The designation follows a decision by the United Nations Security Council on 25 October, at the request of Australia and a number of co-sponsoring countries including New Zealand and Indonesia, to identify Jemaah Islamiyah as a terrorist group.

It takes effect immediately for a period of three years, unless extended.

The decision to designate Jemaah Islamiyah was taken by the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Attorney-General, under Section 22 of the Terrorism Suppression Act. The Act came into force on 17 October 2002.

Helen Clark said that Jemaah Islamiyah has no known presence in New Zealand.

“Nevertheless, designating Jemaah Islamiyah as a terrorist entity will serve to deter New Zealanders from becoming inadvertently involved in its activities.

“It will also make it an offence to participate in the Jemaah Islamiyah group, recruit members for this group, provide or collect funds for this group or make property or financial services available to this group,” Helen Clark said.

Jemaah Islamiyah was identified as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations based on information drawn from a number of sources including Jemaah Islamiyah detainees, confidential sources and media reports.

Jemaah Islamiyah is an extremist Islamic organisation founded by Abdullah Sungkar and currently led by an Indonesian cleric named Abu Bakar Ba’asyir. It has cells operating in South East Asia. Its stated goal is to create an Islamic state encompassing Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the southern Philippines.

Jemaah Islamiyah’s aim of replacing democratically elected governments by unlawful means poses a serious threat to individual countries and to the peace and security of the South East Asian region.

The organization has established links to Al-Qaida, based on both a shared ideology and co-operation in relation to terrorist activities and training.

Jemaah Islamiyah is assessed to have both the capability and the intent to conduct terrorist attacks, and has already participated in such acts in an indiscriminate manner against diplomatic, civilian and military targets.

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