LynnMall terrorist involvement in the Easter Sunday bombing?

New Zealand and Sri Lankan police are investigating if there was any LynnMall terrorist involvement in the Easter Sunday bombing after the March 15th Christchurch shooting in 2019. It’s previously been revealed that Sri Lanka suicide bomber Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed’s family is linked to Auckland. Refugee Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen was shot dead on Friday after stabbing 7 people in an Auckland Supermarket. He’d previously been arrested for promoting Islamic State material.

Ahamed Samsudeen was described as a high risk to the community when he was sentenced in July for possessing Islamic State propaganda – with the means and motivation to commit violent acts.

However three years earlier, Australian National University criminologist Dr Clarke Jones told the High Court Ahamed didn’t appear to be violent and didn’t fit the profile of a young Muslim person who had been radicalised.

At the time he suggested “a carefully designed, culturally sensitive and closely supervised intervention programme in the Auckland Muslim community.”

Now, he said it was unclear how much rehabilitation actually took place.

“People can change, sometimes quickly, sometimes over a longer period of time. But back in 2018, we didn’t think that he was violent,” he explained.

At the time Ahamed appeared to feel marginalised and disconnected, Clarke said, like he couldn’t “get his foot up” in society.

“Some of the material he was reading was was of concern and he had fairly rigid views around around religion and around around life in general. But he’d also had some experience in difficult times and was, I would argue, deeply depressed.”

In the High Court, Samsudeen had admitted two charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage, two charges of knowingly distributing restricted material and one charge of failing to assist the police in their exercise of a search power.

Another expert was consulted – forensic psychiatrist Dr Jeremy Skipworth – who echoed Clarke’ concerns.

“Doctor Skipworth said that any form of home detention would tend to further exacerbate your mental health concerns, and that your successful community reintegration is likely to be assisted by cornerstones, such as stable housing, personal support, appropriate employment and medical care,” reads Justice Wylie’s sentencing notes.

Justice Wylie imposed a sentence of supervision, with special conditions including a psychological assessment and a rehabilitation programme with a service called Just Community.

Jones said he really would like to know more about what support Samsudeen was actually given in Corrections.

“Was he responsive to that treatment, if he was receiving any treatment at all, or was the focus more on on the security side and the monitoring and the surveillance?”

Asked if the terrorist had enough support to ‘get better’, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said there’d been attempts to change the man’s mind – and none of them were successful.

But in a family statement released after the attack, Samsudeen’s brother said he sometimes listened.

“He would hang up the phone on us when we told him to forget about all of the issues he was obsessed with. Then he would call us back again himself when he realised he was wrong. Aathil was wrong again [on Friday]. Of course we feel very sad that he could not be saved. The prisons and the situation was hard on him and he did not have any support. He told us he was assaulted there.”

Clarke said, “I would say that we haven’t got the balance right. In this case there was too much focus on the counter terrorism or counter violent extremism narrative, rather than actually getting to the core of what what was wrong with Mr Samsudeen.”

“We can always improve the way we do things to have have greater preventative sort of mechanisms within government, police and communities.”

Clarke said what happened in LynnMall was a tragedy and a terrible situation.

RNZ

The mother of the LynnMall attacker says he was brainwashed by neighbours from the Middle East.

Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, a 32-year-old refugee originally from Sri Lanka, was shot dead by undercover police after stabbing six people inside Countdown in LynnMall on Friday.

His mother, Ismail Fareeda, has told a TV channel in Sri Lanka that neighbours from Syria and Iraq radicalised Aathil Samsudeen when he was injured in a fall in Sri Lanka in 2016.

She said her son then started posting radical views on social media.

Fareeda said there was a change in her son after he left Sri Lanka and settled in New Zealand in 2011.

She said her two other sons had reprimanded the 32-year-old over his radical views.

In a statement released via a lawyer and credited to Samsudeen’s brother, Aroos, his wh?nau said they were heartbroken by the horrible act and they wanted to send love and support to those who were hurt.

The Sri Lankan government is promising to work with New Zealand authorities over Friday’s stabbings at the LynnMall Countdown supermarket, AFP reported.

It had been investigating whether Samsudeen was linked to the bombings in Colombo on Easter Sunday 2019, which killed 279 people.

There were 279 people killed in the attacks on three churches and three hotels.

The bombings were blamed on a group that pledged allegiance to the then Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

A spokesperson for Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said the government there condemns the senseless violence of the west Auckland attack and will cooperate with the New Zealand authorities in any way necessary.

RNZ