Al-Qaida trainees hiding in N.Z.: Key

AFP-JIJI

New Zealand knows of al-Qaida-trained activists within the country who need to be monitored, Prime Minister John Key said Thursday amid debate on the need for stronger spy laws.

Key took to the airways to defend legislation that allows the country’s intelligence agency to spy on local residents, saying opponents refused to acknowledge security threats were genuine.

“In the real world, in New Zealand, there are people who have been trained in al-Qaida camps,” he told commercial radio. “(People) who operate out of New Zealand, who are in contact with people overseas, who have gone off to Yemen and other countries to train. That’s the real world, the reality of what we’re dealing with.”