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NZer Taylor deemed terrorist by US

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017

New Zealander Mark Taylor has been named on a United States terror watchlist because of claims by the US State Department that he is encouraging terror attacks here and in Australia.

Taylor, from Hamilton, and five others placed on the list on Thursday (US time) have sanctions on them, prohibiting Americans from dealing with them because they are believed to have committed terrorist acts or may do so.

Any property under US jurisdiction has also been frozen.

"Mark John Taylor is a New Zealand national who has been fighting in Syria with ISIS since the fall of 2014," the department said.

"Taylor has used social media, including appearing in a 2015 ISIS propaganda video, to encourage terrorist attacks in Australia and New Zealand."

Taylor is also known as Mohammad Daniel, Muhammad Daniel, Abu Abdul Rahman and Mark John al-Rahman.

He has also been dubbed the "bumbling jihadi" after a bragging tweet inadvertently revealed his location in Syria in 2014.

Prime Minister Bill English said he was notified shortly before the department announced their decision, but is not aware if any other Kiwis may be added to the list.

It's believed at least four or five other New Zealanders are fighting with Islamic State but Mr English wouldn't speculate on a number without confirmation.

The US designation doesn't immediately change the way New Zealand will monitor Taylor overseas or should he return home.

"As far as we're concerned we've got the tools to deal with this person if they turn out to be a risk," he said.

Mr English said radicalisation of New Zealanders who go to fight overseas, or who come home to carry out attacks, was "not a large scale concern".

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