Kuwait-based Lajnat Al Daawa Al Islamiya (LDI) was yesterday listed as a terrorist entity under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
Seventeen individuals were also listed as terrorists by Prime Minister Helen Clark, following a decision by the United Nations Security Council to list them and LDI.
The listing in New Zealand will take effect immediately for a period of three years, unless extended.
Information drawn from a number of sources identified LDI as a terrorist organisation, Helen Clark said.
LDI was a fundraising entity for terrorist organisations, including al Qaeda, she said.
Its headquarters were in Kuwait and it had branches in the Middle East and Africa.
Abdelghani Mzoudi, arrested in Germany after being investigated on suspicion of supporting the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, heads the list of individuals.
The remaining 16 were linked to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), which has been party to attacks in Europe and the massacre of civilians in Algeria.
GIA was listed as a terrorist organisation before the enactment of the Terrorism Suppression Act last October.
There was no connection between the designation of the 16 GIA members and the case of Ahmed Zaoui, Helen Clark said.
Mr Zaoui is a suspected terrorist who is going through a review process. He arrived in NZ in December on false South African documents.
He will remain in jail until the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) Inspector-General reports on whether he is a national security risk.
Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel has the final say on whether he can stay in New Zealand or be deported as a security risk.
“None of these designated groups or individuals is known to be active in New Zealand,” Helen Clark said.
It will now be illegal to be part of LDI, recruit members for it, provide or collect funds for it, or make property or financial services available to it.
Mr Zaoui’s lawyers said he would be extremely pleased the GIA had been designated as a terrorist organisation.
“It is indeed this organisation which has sentenced him to death for the peaceful expression of his political view, which is to bring democracy to Algeria.”
The GIA and Mr Zaoui’s political party, the Islamic Front for Salvation (FIS), were diametrically opposed to each other, said lawyer Deborah Manning. NZPA
Travel alert: vigilance as always
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has updated its travel advisory to include the latest bombing but is not recommending extra precautions.
The advisory already recommends against travelling to the Indonesian regions of Aceh, Maluku Islands, (West) Papua, Sulawesi, and the Belu district and border of West Timor.
Travellers are advised to defer non-essential travel to other regions.
A spokeswoman for the ministry said embassy security was always under review and potential threats related to the latest incident would be taken into consideration.