Friday, April 24, 2015

Security tightened after terror threat on New Zealand war commemorations

New Zealand Police say they will be on high alert Saturday as thousands of people gather in towns and cities to mark Anzac Day in light of a terror threat video.

The threat was made in a video posted on YouTube by Mark Taylor, a New Zealander reportedly fighting for the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

YouTube pulled the video Friday, but TV3 news broadcast excerpts showing Taylor urging IS supporters in New Zealand and Australia to strike during Anzac Day gatherings.

"Now is the time to commence your operations," he said in the video. "Even if it means you have to stab a few police officers or soldiers on Anzac Day, so be it."

Taylor called for action from sympathizers whose passports had been confiscated to prevent them from traveling to areas held by the Islamic State.

Prime Minister John Key, who is in Turkey for commemorations of the centenary of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landings at Gallipoli on April 25, told TV3 that it reaffirmed his claim that IS was trying to bring its war to New Zealand.

"He is saying people that have had their passports taken off them should undertake a domestic terror attack in New Zealand or Australia," Key said.

"Those people are under ... a pretty significant watch from the authorities, so we will continue to watch those people very, very closely."

Police Commissioner Mike Bush issued a statement saying police were aware of the video and that Taylor was well known to New Zealand authorities.

"We take our responsibility for the safety and security of New Zealanders very seriously and, while we are unable to go into detail, we have already taken further security measures," Bush said.

"We are satisfied that all appropriate and necessary measures are in place for Anzac Day," he said.

"New Zealanders should feel confident in attending Anzac Day events as planned, while exercising their usual vigilance in light of the current global security environment."

Anzac Day is marked every year by dawn gatherings of current and ex-service personnel and the public at memorials around the country for a brief ceremony to honor the war dead.

Turnouts this year are expected to be particularly high as it is the centenary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli from which the event derived its name.

New Zealand has begun deploying up to 143 troops in Iraq as part of a joint operation with Australia to train Iraqi forces to fight IS.

Critics have argued the controversial move would make New Zealand an Islamic terror target.

 Xinhua -

1 comment :

  1. WW1 Gallipoli 'heroism' remembered...

    he Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the "heroism and humanity" of those who fought in Gallipoli, one of World War One's bloodiest campaigns, at a centenary ceremony in Turkey.

    Prince Charles and Prince Harry also met relatives of Gallipoli veterans.

    They joined leaders from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey - which all lost thousands of troops - at memorials.

    About 131,000 - made up of 45,000 Allied forces and 86,000 from Turkey - died in the campaign.

    The fatalities included about 25,000 British military personnel, 10,000 from France and 10,000 from Australia and New


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