Islamic State terror suspect Suhayra Aden arrives in New Zealand

Mother of two Suhayra Aden was a dual citizen of New Zealand and Australia who last lived in New Zealand as a six-year-old, and subsequently travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State.
Yeni Safak/Supplied
Mother of two Suhayra Aden was a dual citizen of New Zealand and Australia who last lived in New Zealand as a six-year-old, and subsequently travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State.

A woman who joined Islamic State has arrived in New Zealand with her two children, after the Government arranged her return from Turkey.

Suhayra Aden arrived in New Zealand on Saturday morning. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed Aden would follow normal Covid-19 protocols, which would include spending two weeks in a managed isolation facility.

Aden’s lawyer, Deborah Manning, confirmed Aden had entered the country, but said she would not comment further.

Manning has previously said Aden was “looking forward to being in New Zealand and giving her children an opportunity at living here and integrating, and really wishes to have privacy for them to allow them to settle in here and come to terms with everything they have been through”.

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Ardern, asked about Aden’s arrival at a Covid-19 press conference on Saturday afternoon, would not confirm or comment on her arrival “for a range of reasons, not least security reasons”.

"We are undertaking all of the usual Covid-19 related protocols for someone who has come in from a country that has Covid in circulation, which is essentially anywhere in the world at present,” she said.

She declined to detail the measures being taken to ensure the public’s safety.

"My job is to keep people safe. And we are using all of the levers that we have to make sure that we've done everything we can to keep people safe, while at the same time fulfilling those obligations we have because this is a New Zealand citizen.

“We've planned for it, we're ready for it, and we are keeping in mind here, there are also children involved that we have an obligation to as well.”

Aden, who is a New Zealand citizen, was detained by Turkish authorities near the border of Syria in February. Turkish authorities described her as a wanted Isis terrorist.

Her possible return to New Zealand caused a major stir in the trans-Tasman relationship, after Ardern revealed Aden was a dual national, but Australia had cancelled her citizenship.

Ardern publicly lambasted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in February, after his Government unilaterally stripped the woman's Australian citizenship due to her travelling to Syria to join Islamic State– effectively dumping the issue on New Zealand's doorstep.

Aden moved with her family to Australia, from New Zealand, when she was 6-years- old. She left for Syria from Australia.