New Zealand has tried for years to deport the knife-wielding militant who wounded seven people at a mall in Auckland last week, the government said on Sunday (September 5) after it released more details on the attacker following the lifting of a court suppression order.
Court documents made public on Sunday named the attacker as Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, a Tamil Muslim from Sri Lanka. He had arrived in New Zealand 10 years ago on a student visa seeking refugee status, which was granted in 2013.
Police shot dead Samsudeen, who had been convicted and imprisoned for about three years before being released in July, moments after he launched his stabbing spree on Friday.
The 32-year-old was inspired by the Islamic State militant group and was being monitored constantly but could not be kept in prison by law any longer.
It was subsequently discovered that his refugee status was fraudulently obtained and the government moved to cancel his visa and issued deportation notices. Samsudeen appealed the deportation, and since he was in prison his appeal could not proceed until his criminal trial ended in May this year.
The attack by Samsudeen has led to questions about a gap in the country’s counter-terrorism laws that allowed Samsudeen to remain free despite authorities being aware of the threat he posed.
(Production: Stefica Nicol Bikes)