A Kiwi who joined Islamic State and is detained in a Syrian prison could face legal action in New Zealand, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Mark Taylor, a former New Zealand soldier, says he was a border guard for Isis before he surrendered to Kurdish forces.

Taylor, also known as Mohammad Daniel and Abu Abdul Rahman, burnt his New Zealand passport after going to Syria to fight for Isis.

In 2014, Taylor, declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US, claimed he'd contacted the New Zealand Government to try to get a new passport.



Lawyer: Kiwi jihadist is still New Zealand's responsibility
He has surrendered to Kurdish fighters and is being held in a Syrian prison.

At her post-Cabinet press conference, Ardern said New Zealand has made it very clear that Kiwis should not travel to Syria.

It was unlawful to fight with Isis, she said.

She said Taylor's actions created the potential for legal actions in New Zealand.

New Zealand does not have a diplomatic presence in Syria.

Ardern said the safety of New Zealanders is the Government's concern.

She was confident that the Government had the means to keep Kiwis safe.


Ardern said she could not get into hypotheticals around if Taylor would be coming back to New Zealand.

She reiterated that New Zealanders should not travel to Syria because there is no diplomatic presence there.

"We are not equipped to help those who do," she said,

She said at this point in time, Taylor would need to make contact with a New Zealand representative in Turkey.

Ardern did not know what conditions in Taylor's jail were

The Government has "no connection" with the people who are holding him, she said.


She would not say if Taylor's family had been in contact with the Government.

Ardern said it would require "some facilitation" to get Taylor to get from where he is now to Turkey, where there is New Zealand representatives.

New Zealand ISIS guard held in Kurdish jail. / ABC

Taylor, who lived in Australia for 20 years, told the ABC he liked his time with Isis as it had introduced him to a "different way of life".

He told the ABC he initially taught English but made a propaganda video after he fell under suspicion for being a spy.

"I actually did regret making that video and I know the output was not good for my part but I'll know I'll probably spend time in jail for making that video," he said.

"I was helping to guard a border between Syrian Government...I had a Kalashnikov," he said.


He only used it for practice, he said.

He was also put in prison by Isis for a "ridiculous reason".