Two days after a lone terrorist carried out a deadly knife attack at a store in New Lynn in Auckland, the slain attacker has been identified as one Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, reported Radio New Zealand. The terrorist was shot dead on Friday (September 3) after he went on a stabbing spree and injured 7 people.
It must be mentioned that the New Zealand government had challenged a suppression order in Court, which earlier concealed the name of Samsudeen. After the order was lifted, the name and details of the terrorist were revealed to the public. Samsudeen was a 32-year-old Srilankan Muslim immigrant who came to New Zealand in 2011 on a student visa. He came under the watch of the law enforcement authorities in 2016 after he began glorifying ‘violent extremism’ on social media.
In 2017 Samsudeen was put behind bars for trying to escape to Syria via Auckland airport. He was found in possession of ‘restricted items’ and a ‘hunting knife.’ He pleaded guilty to possession but was eventually released on bail. The radical Islamist terrorist was arrested yet again in 2018 for procuring a knife while he was out on bail. A police search at his residence unearthed more ‘objectionable/extremist material’, leading to Samsudeen’s sentencing to 3 years in prison. Even while in custody, he assaulted several correction officers.
Prosecutors ran out of legal options to keep slain terrorist detained
Samsudeen was released in July this year. However, for the possession of such materials and failure in assisting the police during the search, the terrorist was put under an additional 12 months of ‘supervision with special conditions.’ New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had earlier described Samsudeen as a ‘supporter of ISIS ideology’ and conceded that the prosecutors ran out of legal options to keep the terrorist behind bars. She informed about receiving briefings about the threats posed by the Islamist in the months of July and August.
Govt tried to deport Samsudeen several times but failed
Upon his release on bail, the police claimed to have put Samsudeen under constant surveillance. As per Jacinda Ardern, about 30 cops were assigned at one time to track his movement. Despite this, the ISIS terrorist managed to buy a knife and stab seven people. Three of the victims are said to be in critical condition. It has also come to light that the immigration authorities in New Zealand were trying to revoke Samsudeen’s refugee status prior to the deadly attack. The Srilankan national was granted refugee status in 2013 but it was later discovered that he had obtained it fraudulently.
The New Zealand government then decided to issue a deportation notice and cancel his visa. However, a shrewd Samsudeen appealed against it in court. Given that he was serving time in prison, his appeal did not move further and the matter remained a stalemate until the end of his trial in May this year. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also conceded that it was ‘frustrating’ that the authorities could not deport him back to Sri Lanka. In light of the slain terrorist’s ability to exploit the loopholes within the system, the New Zealand government has now vowed to tighten the counter-terrorism laws in the country.
Terrorist’s family cites ‘mental health issues’, claims Samsudeen fought against injustice
In a statement released by the family members of the slain terrorist, they claimed, “We hope to find out with you all, what happened in Aathil’s case and what we all could have done to prevent this.” While alleging that they were ‘heartbroken’, the family went on to claim that the Islamic terrorist was suffering from mental health issues. They also suggested that the prison sentence and court cases worsened the mental state of Samsudeen. “He wanted to share the sufferings and injustices. He saw himself as someone fighting those injustices,” the family alluded.