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GCSB Bill needed to watch al-Qaida - Key

Thursday 1 Aug 2013 10:52 a.m.

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John Key has this morning justified the need for the Government's GCSB Bill by saying there are al-Qaida-trained operatives in New Zealand that need to be watched.

Speaking on More FM's Si and Gary Show this morning, Mr Key said this was the "reality" of what the Government was dealing with.

"In the real world, in New Zealand, there are people who have been trained for al-Qaida camps, who operate out of New Zealand, who are in contact with people overseas, who have gone off to Yemen and other countries to train. I'm sorry but it's the real world."

Mr Key has in the past confirmed his knowledge of Hamilton man Mark Taylor, who is considered a 'person of interest' by the United States. In 2009 Mr Taylor was stopped at the Afghanistan border as he was trying to enter a Taliban stronghold, and was deported home.

He had a number of restrictions placed on him despite Mr Key saying he did not pose a threat here.

The Prime Minister's comments today come ahead of the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Bill's second reading this afternoon.

"If people don't believe that there's the odd person in New Zealand who presents a potential threat… unfortunately they're wrong," he said. "I wish I could give them all the information because in a way it might show them."

The controversial bill, which will authorise the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders, is expected to pass by one vote.

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