Those who know 'Kiwi Jihadi' Mark Taylor say he's vulnerable, lonely, needs help

Those who knew the so-called 'Kiwi Jihadi' Mark Taylor before he joined the Islamic State (IS) have told Newshub he's vulnerable and should be brought home to get the help he needs.

But the Government and National Party have zero sympathy, and do not want to see Taylor return.

Before Taylor ran away to join IS in Syria, he was a loner, trying to fit in.

"I've been lonely all my life, rejected by people, used by people, abused by people."

He was bullied as a child, is dyslexic and has a low IQ. He had a brief stint in the Army in the late 1990s, and in 2011 told Three he had five failed marriages.

"I didn't have a death wish; I was just looking for a lady for marriage."

Mustafa Farouk is an elder at the Hamilton Mosque Taylor attended. He told Newshub: "When [Taylor] was here he was just a lonely individual, but he has never shown that he is aggressive or bad."

Blair Morpeth converted to Islam around the same time as Taylor. He helped arrange for Taylor to meet his sixth wife in Indonesia.

Mr Morpeth described him as "very confused, not always clear in his decision-making, [and] seeking approval a lot and wanting to belong".

When the Indonesian relationship fell apart, Taylor travelled to Syria. He already had links to Al Qaeda, but the Government had issued him a passport regardless.

Mr Farouk told Newshub: "When everyone was looking for him and saying he was a dangerous person, it's surprising he was able to get his passport and travel."

Taylor apparently posed so little threat that even former Prime Minister John Key visited his mosque.

"A Prime Minister was in the mosque when [Taylor] was around in the mosque, [and] nobody said anything," Mr Farouk said.

Both he and Mr Morpeth say Taylor has mental health issues and that he needs help from New Zealand. But Taylor won't get it.

When asked if she has any sympathy for Taylor, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said "the warnings have been clear" not to go to Syria.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters was even less sympathetic, saying: "I'm not going to waste five seconds of my time worrying about him."

National leader Simon Bridges agreed with that sentiment, saying: "We don't want him back - it's not our responsibility to bail out a terrorist."

Taylor became internationally renowned as the 'Bumbling Jihadi' after accidentally revealing Islamic State positions in Syria on Twitter.

But Mr Bridges said that "doesn't mean he isn't unsafe or dangerous - I mean, stupid people can do very terrible things".

Taylor's now being held in a Syrian jail by Kurdish forces, and he says our spies have been in touch.

But the Prime Minister was adamant the Government has not had contact with Taylor since he was detained.

If he does make it back to New Zealand, Taylor faces life in prison. It's either that, or a life in Syrian exile.