'Kiwi Jihadi' raising concerns about NZ terror threat

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A Kiwi jihadi with links to a prominent Middle East terrorist organisation is raising concerns about the risk of New Zealand being targeted by a terrorist attack.

Former Hamilton man Mark Taylor

Former Hamilton man Mark John Taylor appears to have aligned himself with the Al-Nusra front, which is the Syrian arm of al Qaeda.

Using the Twitter account name 'Kiwi jihadi', Mr Taylor has posted photos of himself holding automatic weapons and knives and posting comments such as "I just love Mortars and rain! It makes a beautiful day!"

Mr Taylor made headlines earlier this year when he proudly displayed his burnt New Zealand passport and declared he was on a "one-way trip" to take up arms in Syria.

It's believed he has made several attempts since then to have his passport reissued.

Recent terror plots in Canada and Australia have highlighted concerns that would-be terrorists are being encouraged to attack people on their home soil rather than travel to strongholds in the Middle East.

Security Intelligence Service boss Rebecca Kitteridge has told Fairfax that the suspected propaganda brings the threat to New Zealand closer.

"There are people who read these sorts of things, there are people who advocate it, there are people who fund it, there are people who facilitate it, so there is a range of people who we are concerned about here,"' said Ms Kitteridge.

Mr Taylor said he left New Zealand in May 2012, and lived in Indonesia for two years working as an English teacher before taking up arms in Syria.

Prime Minister John Key has confirmed intelligence agencies monitored Taylor for some time and revealed an unspecified number of other Kiwis have had their passports cancelled to stop them travelling to take up arms in Syria or Iraq.

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