Kiwi jihadi wants to leave war-torn Syria

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Jihadi
Wellington, Sep 16: A jihadi from New Zealand, who has links with the Al Qaeda and has taken up arms in Syria, wants to leave the war-torn country - but first needs a fresh New Zealand passport after burning his old one, the media reported Tuesday.

Mohammad Daniel, alias Abu Abdul Rahman, and formerly known as Mark John Taylor, has expressed his willingness to return home, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Earlier this year, Daniel proudly posted the picture of his burnt New Zealand passport on Facebook and announced he was on a "one-way trip" with no intention of returning home.

Daniel had also claimed to have been in contact with the New Zealand government in a bid to get a fresh passport.

New Zealand's department of internal affairs Tuesday has, however, rubbished the claim.

An official of the New Zealand Intelligence Community - an agency made up of the Government Communications Security Bureau, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet' National Assessments Bureau, and the Security Intelligence Service -- refused to say anything about it.

But the official of the intelligence community said that, in general, jihadis taking part in or returning from any sort of conflict zone are a "concern for many countries, including New Zealand".

"We are aware of a small number of Kiwis who have travelled to areas of conflict in the world," the official said.

Daniel was arrested by Pakistan authorities in 2009 while trying to gain access to an Al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold near the Afghanistan border and was subsequently subjected to travel restrictions by the New Zealand government.

Daniel lived in Indonesia for two years working as an English teacher since 2012. In June this year, he entered Syria from across the Turkish border.

Daniel also said that he was planning to leave Syria around late October.

He said that while he had requested a new passport from the New Zealand government, he had no intention to return to his homeland.

"I only went Syria for adventure jihad, but along the way I realised the country is in need of humanity aid rather than a bloody jihad," said Daniel.

IANS

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