Prime Minister Helen Clark has designated the following individuals and organisations as terrorist entities pursuant to the provisions of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002:
Sulaiman Jassem Sulaiman ABO GHAITH
Shaykh Abd-al-Majid AL-ZINDANI
Abd Al Hafiz ABD AL WAHAB
Haddad Fethi BEN ASSEN
Ahmed Nacer YACINE
Taibah International-Bosnia Offices
Helen Clark said that the designations follow a decision by the United Nations Security Council to list these individuals and organisations as terrorist entities.
The designations take effect immediately for a period of three years, unless extended.
The decision to proceed with these designations was taken in consultation with the Attorney General, pursuant to the Terrorism Suppression Act.
Sulaiman Jassem Sulaiman ABO GHAITH has been the official spokesperson of al-Qaeda since the attacks of September 11, 2001 and has appeared seated beside Osama BIN LADEN and Ayman AL-ZAWAHIRI in a video that aired on October 9, 2001 on al-Jazeera television.
Shaykh Abd-al-Majid AL-ZINDANI is also closely linked to Osama BIN LADEN and is reported to be one of his spiritual leaders.
Hacene ALLANE, Kamel DJERMANE, Dhou EL-AICH and Ahmad ZERFAOUI all have ties to the terrorist organisation Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) and were involved in the kidnapping of 32 tourists in south-east Algeria between February and March of 2003.
Jamel LOUNICI is also involved in the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) and has been associated to the outlawed Islamist Algerian political party, Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). He is also thought to be the coordinator of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) networks in Europe. All these groups have ties to al-Qaeda. The Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) are currently designated within New Zealand as terrorist entities.
LOUNICI headed a cell which included the remaining ten individuals. These ten individuals have been convicted in Italy of crimes that include assisting illegal immigrants to enter Italy and using them to transmit instructions to terrorist groups operating in other European countries.
The designated entities Al Furqan and Taibah International (Bosnia) are organisations associated with al-Qaeda. Al Furqan has had close ties to two al-Qaeda-linked organisations: the Bosnia branch of Al-Haramain International Foundation (AHF)and the Global Relief Foundation (GRF). Taibah International, a Bosnia-based non-governmental organisation, also has significant ties to the GRF.
None of the designated individuals or organisations are known to have any current links to New Zealand.
“Nevertheless designating these entities as terrorists will serve to deter New Zealanders from becoming inadvertently involved in their activities. It obliges all UN member-countries to freeze bank deposits and other assets owned by them, and to deny them entry or transit visas. The financing of international terrorism is a matter of grave concern to the international community as a whole, and one that New Zealand recognises the need to effectively address.
“These designations assist in that process,” Helen Clark said.