The Prime Minister’s decision to send troops to Iraq will come back to bite New Zealand says Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer.
On Monday John Key disputed the notion that Kiwi troops training the Iraqi army had increased the chances of a terrorist attack in New Zealand by Islamic State – also known as Isis and Isil.
But Shearer a former United Nations worker who has lived and worked in the Baghdad green zone in Iraq said there was no doubt it would have a direct effect.
‘Russia started bombing and it got an airliner blown up – France started talking about bombing and there was an attack on Paris. Of course there’s cause an effect’.
‘We’re well down the list but don’t think for a moment because we’re a long way away that somehow we’re immune. We have now become linked by putting our troops in Iraq.
It ups the ante on our side and therefore it creates the situation where there’s more chance somebody here in New Zealand will feel more inspired or motivated now to go out and commit an act’ he said.
While the probability of a terrorist attack in New Zealand was lower than other countries Shearer said it has ‘certainly raised the stakes more than if we hadn’t sent troops to Iraq’.
But Key said there was ‘no particular noises out of Isil’ when he announced the troop deployment and he didn’t believe choosing to do so had increased the likelihood of an attack.
On Tuesday Key said New Zealand had a much lower terrorist attack risk than other countries but he couldn’t rule it out completely because of ‘some very sad and sick individuals’.