New Zealand has confirmed its ongoing contribution to the Operation Gallant Phoenix intelligence mission in Jordan.
Minister of Defence Peeni Henare, and Minister of Police Poto Williams said Cabinet has extended the mandate for New Zealand’s multi agency deployment for two years until June 2023.
The number of deployed personnel remains fewer than 10.
Operation Gallant Phoenix was launched in 2013, with the initial aim of tracking the flow of foreign terrorist fighters in and out of Iraq and Syria. Over time it has evolved into a platform where partners collect and share information and intelligence about potential and existing terrorist threats, regardless of threat ideology.
Operation Gallant Phoenix is now made up of a large number of countries and a variety of agencies, including law enforcement, military and civilian personnel.
“Participation in Operation Gallant Phoenix began in late 2014, as part of our response to the global threat posed by ISIS,” Minister Henare said.
“Our deployment to Operation Gallant Phoenix provides New Zealand with valuable information. It helps us to build relationships with international partners, contribute to global efforts to counter violent extremism, and gain experience in a way that cannot be achieved elsewhere. New Zealanders are safer because of it.”
Minister Williams said the value of New Zealand’s involvement was recently highlighted by the Royal Commission of Inquiry Report into the terrorist attack on the Christchurch masjindain, which referred to the benefits to New Zealand’s security interests.
“This multi-agency deployment helps us understand and respond to current, evolving, and future terrorist and violent extremist threats,” Ms Williams said.