New Zealand's spy boss warns of increased homegrown terror risk

New Zealand's spy boss has warned the number of people being monitored here because of their lSIS links has risen, increasing

Source: 1 NEWS

the risk of a terrorist attack on the country.

Rebecca Kitteridge, director of the Security Intelligence Service (SIS), said today that people on the terror watchlist include those who are thinking about committing terrorism in New Zealand.

Islamic State is using social media from overseas to encourage people to carry out terror attacks in their home countries, she told Radio New Zealand.

"I think it's the first time that we've seen a terrorist organisation actually actively trying to recruit people to commit attacks internationally," Ms Ketteridge said.

"There's an active effort to recruit anyone who might be susceptible to this type of propaganda."

Ms Ketteridge says the potential for a terror attack in New Zealand is now greater than when she was appointed to the role 11 months ago.

In March, Prime Minister John Key said there were 35-40 people currently sitting on the intensive terror watch list while a "growing group of 60-70 are on a further watch list".

The warning from Ms Kitteridge comes as 140 New Zealand military personnel began heading from Australia to Iraq this week to help in the fight against Islamic State.