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Returning IS fighters present tremendous risks - John Key

The Prime Minister reiterated today that he believes New Zealand is at more risk from doing nothing than in sending troops to Iraq.

There’s more domestic danger in not joining fight against ISIL, John Key says Source: Q+A

Describing ISIS as a death cult, John Key told Q A this morning that while there is some risk in sending New Zealand soldiers he has been advised that if we do nothing there is a greater risk.

"If we do nothing a stronger ISIL puts at risk all New Zealanders...fighters will return indoctrinated...I think they present tremendous risks in countries they return to," Mr Key says.

Tens of thousands of foreign fighters fighting for ISIL undertake the most barbaric and inhumane actions that any of us have seen, says Mr Key.

"They live under a world view which is so different and remote from anything in New Zealand we can ever imagine...some New Zealanders who are part of the foreign fighting group will inevitably come back," he says.

They are claiming the lives of innocent people, people who don't believe their world view from a religious perspective...they have no mercy.

"Because we run independent foreign policy doesn't mean we can abdicate our responsibilities to play our part, however small."

Mr Key says fighters are being told that if they can't come and fight for ISIL then they should undertake acts of domestic terrorism.

But the Prime Minister says while dozens are being observed on watch lists in New Zealand it is not simply a case of arresting them and any charges would have to stand up to the scrutiny of the law.

"There is obviously some risk, I can't rule out some risk in the actions we take."

Mr Key says he is not aware of any specific threat against New Zealand since the announcement that we are sending a 143-strong mission to Iraq for up to two years to train Iraqi security forces to fight the radical Islamists.

Labour's defence spokesman Phil Goff says what's required is money.

"The $35 million we're spending putting troops into Iraq so we'll have 16 trainers, that money could make a real difference in keeping people alive in refugee camps," Mr Goff says.