Woman with alleged ISIS link to return to NZ

The New Zealand Government will bring back into the country a woman with alleged links to ISIS along with her two children, who have been held in Turkey since crossing over from Syria earlier this year. 

Suhayra Aden (right). Source: 1 NEWS

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Turkey asked New Zealand to repatriate Suhayra Aden and her children. 

Ardern also mentioned that it had been made "clear that any New Zealander who might be suspected of association with a terrorist group should expect to be investigated under New Zealand law, but that would be a matter for the police".

Police today confirmed an investigation is underway, but would not comment further on the situation. 

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The Government has announced it'll repatriate NZ-born Suhayra Aden at the request of Turkish authorities but won't say when the family will arrive. Source: 1 NEWS

In February, the situation developed into a high profile spat with Australia after the country scrapped her once dual-citizenship, leaving her with just New Zealand citizenship. 

"It is wrong that New Zealand should shoulder the responsibility for a situation involving a woman who has not lived in New Zealand since she was six, has resided in Australia since that time, has her family in Australia and left for Syria from Australia on her Australian passport," Ardern said in February. 

Today, Ardern said that Australia would not reverse the cancellation of citizenship.

Jacinda Ardern. Source: 1 NEWS

"New Zealand is not able to remove citizenship from a person and leave them stateless, and as New Zealand citizens this country is the only place where they can currently legally reside.

"We have taken into account our international responsibilities as well as the details of this particular case, including the fact that children are involved."

"I can assure people great care is being taken as to how the woman and her young children are returned to New Zealand and how they will be managed in a way that minimises any risk for New Zealanders."

University of Sydney's Associate Professor Jean Bogais, who is an expert in deradicalisation, spoke to 1 NEWS earlier this year. 

He said Aden's children were the "critical element in that situation".

"They’re young, they’ve not experienced the world like any other children has experienced, so they are traumatised already. 

"Losing the contact with their mother will actually create a psychological crisis that we may not be able to appreciate today, but certainly we will know all about it in years to come."

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft said New Zealand needed to "protect and embrace the two small children at the centre of this situation as they start to make Aotearoa home".

"These children have had an incredibly hard start to life and have been living in conditions unimaginable to most New Zealanders," he said. 

"Children should never be used as political pawns which it appears Australia has done here."