New Zealand tried to deport Sri Lankan for years after he arrived as refugee

New Zealand had tried for years to deport the knife-wielding militant from Sri Lanka, accused of wounding seven people at a mall in Auckland last week, the New Zealand Government said after it released more details on the suspect following the lifting of a court suppression order.

Court documents made public on Sunday identified the suspect as Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, an ethnic 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, the Reuters news agency reported.

Police were following Samsudeen and said they shot him dead about a minute after he launched his attack Friday after picking up a knife from a supermarket display. He had been convicted and imprisoned for about three years before being released in July.

Samsudeen’s family issued a statement to the New Zealand media describing their shock at the “terrible event.”

Samsudeen was inspired by the Islamic State militant group and was being monitored constantly but he could not be kept in prison by law any longer, the government has said.

He came to the attention of the police and security services in 2016 after he expressed sympathy on Facebook for militant attacks, violent war-related videos and comments advocating violent extremism.

It was subsequently discovered that his refugee status was fraudulently obtained, and the government moved to cancel his visa and issued deportation notices.

But Samsudeen appealed against the deportation, and since he was in prison, his appeal could not proceed until his criminal trial ended in May this year.

The attack has led to questions about a loophole in counterterrorism laws that allowed Samsudeen to remain free despite authorities being aware of the threat he posed.

The government has promised to tighten the law, in particular to criminalize planning a militant attack.

“We will continue to review our immigration laws alongside the terrorist suppression law and I’m sure if there are ways we can improve it, we will,” Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson told a news conference.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement on Saturday that unsuccessful attempts to deport Samsudeen was a “frustrating process” for the government.

Of the seven people wounded in the attack, three are in critical condition. One person has been released from hospital. Samsudeen’s family said in the statement they were heartbroken.

“We hope to find out with you all, what happened in Aathil’s case and what we all could have done to prevent this,” the family said in the statement, released by his brother Aroos.

The family said Samsudeen was suffering from some mental health problems and his condition got worse over the past 10 years as he spent more time in prison and dealing with court cases.

“He wanted to share the sufferings and injustices. He saw himself as someone fighting those injustices,” the family said.


  1. By the way, the British, Americans, Canadians, Australians and Kiwis are the forefathers of terrorism because they never kept a record while eliminating Indigenous people in North America and Australasia.

  2. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Arden stated that this heinous terrorist act was not carried out by a religion but by an individual. It is this sort of deluded rhetoric from Western leaders that puts their citizens lives at risk. There is never any acknowledgement of one of the fundamental demands on the followers of Islam i.e that all infidels (non Muslims) be put to the sword.

    Western leaders have become apologists for these fanatical medieval barbarians and are in fact the catalyst for these attacks. Until Muslim leaders are forced to confront and address this issue, all non Muslims will be under constant threat.

    Importing these social and cultural misfits (Muslims) into a Western society that they refuse to assimilate into or accept, is an exercise in futility. Whilst it may appear to be a trendy new-age experiment in fashionable political correctness, it is in fact a recipe for disaster and will result in the loss of many innocent lives.

    • Of course the Western leaders will not make it as a big deal, because they need Islamic radicals to push their agendas.

      The West deliberately encourages radicals to multiply in the name of religious freedom, in order to keep developing countries in chaos and also to use those radicals to fight proxy wars. This particular strategy has become a boomerang to the West. This has been coming back and haunting the West. China and Russia should re-educate the radicals about the West’s invasions and genocides since the 16th century, including war crimes in Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. Let the West pay for its greatest sin (creating terrorism) ;—)))

    • What is the difference between your rabid comments and the words uttered by Samsudeen according to news paper? For those of us who read them, it sounds the same. Take it easy and cool down. You will have stress, high blood pressure and diabetics at the rate you are raging. It is not good for your health. The society will not miss you or mourn if you die with the vein burst in your brain.

Comments are closed.