Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen biography: 13 things about Sri Lankan refugee in New Zealand

Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen
Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen

Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen picked up a knife from a display in Countdown LynnMall inside the LynnMall Shopping Centre in New Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand and used it to stab at least six shoppers shortly after 2:00 p.m. on September 3, 2021. Within a minute of the start of the attack, he was fatally shot by members of the Special Tactics Group.

Samsudeen was from Sri Lanka. Here are 13 more things about him:


  1. He was born in Sri Lanka. (a)
  2. He was Tamil Muslim. (a)(b)
  3. He and his father were attacked, kidnapped and tortured in Sri Lanka because of their political background, according to him. (a)
  4. He was a supporter of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) ideology. (a)(c)(d)
  5. In October 2011, he moved to New Zealand on a student visa. (a)(d)
  6. In 2013, he was granted refugee status in New Zealand. His claim to asylum was supported by scars on his body and a report by a psychologist who described him as a highly distressed and damaged young man suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. (a)
  7. On March 23, 2013, he first came to the attention of New Zealand police after he posted images of graphic acts of war violence on his Facebook account with comments supporting the Islamic State bombing attacks in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2013. the day before. He was placed on a terror watchlist. (a)(d)
  8. In 2017, he told a person at a mosque in Auckland that he wanted to go to Syria to fight for ISIS. On May 19, 2017, he was arrested at Auckland International Airport after booking a one-way ticket to Singapore. He was charged with possessing restricted publications and a hunting knife, which were found in his apartment. He pleaded guilty and was released on bail. (a)(c)(d)
  9. In 2018, immigration officials in New Zealand sought to revoke his refugee status. In the same year, he was arrested for buying a knife while on bail and authorities found objectionable or extremist materials at his home that included ISIS videos of extreme violence. He admitted charges of distributing material and the offensive weapon charge was dropped. In September 2018, Justice Edwin Wylie sentenced him to supervision, given the length of time he had already spent in custody on other charges. (a)(c)(d)
  10. In 2019, he was imprisoned in New Zealand. (b)
  11. The Crown accused him of planning a knife attack after buying a knife in 2018 and sought to have him charged under the Terror Suppression Act but according to his then lawyer Belinda Sellars QC, planning an attack did not meet the required threshold of the law. After reviewing the legislation and what it allowed, Justice Mathew Downs declined the application in a judgment released in July 2020. (d)
  12. In May 2021, his criminal trial ended. In July 2021, he was released from prison and was sentenced to 12 months of supervision with special conditions for possessing objectionable materials and failing to assist the police in exercising search powers. (b)
  13. He died at the age of 32. (b)


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