New Zealand's contribution to Operation Gallant Phoenix intelligence centre in Jordan extended

  • 18/04/2023
Here's what the operation is tasked with.
Here's what the operation is tasked with. Photo credit: Getty Images.

New Zealand is extending its contribution to Operation Gallant Phoenix, a Jordan-based intelligence centre focused on collecting and sharing information about terrorist threats.

The multinational operation was launched in 2013 near Amman, Jordan and was initially purposed with tracking foreign terrorist fighters in and out of Iraq and Syria. New Zealand joined in 2014 as part of the country's response to the threat of Islamic State (IS).

The operation evolved into an intelligence fusion centre through which countries can collect and share intelligence about potential and existing terrorist threats regardless of their ideology. It's manned by a large number of countries and agencies, including law enforcement and military.

New Zealand periodically considers its deployment to the operation. In March 2021, Cabinet extended New Zealand's deployment for two years and increased the number of personnel there.

With that mandate expiring in June of this year, the Government announced on Tuesday it would be extended for another two years until June 2025. The number of New Zealand personnel there will remain fewer than 10.

"As we tragically saw in Christchurch and West Auckland, New Zealand is not immune to threats from violent extremism," Defence Minister Andrew Little said.

"New Zealand is made safer by working with countries around the world to understand and respond to current, evolving, and future terrorist and violent extremist threats.

"The report of the Royal Commission into the Christchurch mosque attack highlighted the value of Operational Gallant Phoenix. I know our contributions are highly valued by partners."

Police Minister Ginny Andersen said the deployment provides police and other agencies with "valuable information". 

"It helps us to build and strengthen relationships with international partners, and gain experience for our Police officers and other personnel in ways that cannot be achieved elsewhere," she said.

"The public can feel reassured that this government is prioritising their safety with the renewal of this commitment over the coming two years."