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National releases terror list

Murray McCully MP National Party Foreign Affairs & Defence Spokesman

21 June 2006

National releases terror list

National Party Foreign Affairs and Defence spokesman Murray McCully has released a list of the 88 terrorist entities designated by the Australian Government which have not been designated as terrorist entities in New Zealand.

Mr McCully says he is releasing the list in the hope that it will "shame" Labour into tightening controls of terrorist groups in New Zealand.

Mr McCully explained that both New Zealand and Australia had, as they were obliged to under UN resolution 1267, designated as terrorists over 450 Al Queda or Taleban related terrorist entities identified by the United Nations Security Council. Similar jurisdictions, such as Canada, had done likewise. The dispute, says Mr McCully, is about New Zealand's failure to designate further terrorist organisations under UN resolution 1373, in order that the provisions of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, which was passed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, could be used against them.

"Last week we had the absurd spectacle of both the Minister of Police and the Assistant Police Commissioner responsible for counter-terrorism claiming that there was no list of Australian designated terrorists that had not also been designated here. Assistant Commissioner Jon White said all terrorists designated on the Australian list 'are also listed by the UN and have thereby been designated in New Zealand'. Annette King told Parliament 'there are not 88 terrorists on an Australian list'.

"Today I am releasing the list of 88 terrorist entities designated in Australia that Mrs King said did not exist, and which the Government's chief advisor on counter-terrorism appeared to know nothing about.

"In addition to a range of individual names, the list includes organisations like Hizballah, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hamas, the Abu Nidal Organisation, the Tamil Tigers and the Real IRA. The designation of these and other groups in Australia means that they become subject to the provisions in the Act restricting their capacity to access funding and property.

"The obvious question is why Australia, with whom we share such an open border, has chosen to use the post-September 11 anti-terrorism toolkit passed by its Parliament, yet the Clark Government has not?

"The recent expulsion of Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali has served to highlight the vulnerability of New Zealand to potential terrorists. The fact that he was able to gain entry into New Zealand is a cause of great unease. I do not know if he was a member of any of the organisations on the list of designated terrorist organisations in Australia, but I am quite sure that New Zealand's failure to designate any terrorists at all under UN 1373 is a sign that we have set a different, and very much more lax set of standards.

"In releasing the list today I hope that I will stimulate New Zealanders to ask themselves some important questions about the state of our defences against terrorism, and shame the Clark Government into taking its responsibilities more seriously," says Mr McCully.

  • ENDS

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