It is now possible to identify an ISIS supporter who stabbed at least five shoppers in an Auckland supermarket before he was shot.
Phil Pennington from RNZ
The Security Intelligence Service has for years called the LynnMall knife attacker a terrorist, at a time when courts were dissecting that he posed a high, medium or even low risk threat.
Ahmed Aathil Samsudin stabbed shoppers at an Auckland supermarket last September, injuring seven people before he was shot dead by police who kept him under 24/7 surveillance for 53 days.
Authorities are ready to announce a joint investigation.
At the same time, Muslim leaders say the lack of state assistance, as opposed to oversight and warnings, shows that fears of security have overcome any attempts to deal with Samsudin’s diagnosed mental health problems.
The SIS began describing the 32-year-old as a potential Islamic martyr and terrorist in early 2017, as well as a supporter of ideological violence since 2015.
This is repeated in more than a dozen security services estimates by September 2021.
Criminologist Dr. Clark Jones, who drafted a plan to rehabilitate Samsudin in 2018, which was not adopted, said it shows a bias inherent in Western security agencies.
“They only have one frame of it, and that will never change,” Dr. Jones said.
“And if we know about this information in the earliest stages, why isn’t initial support offered?”
The Ministry of Justice was copied in the SIS warning, but said it did not pass such reports to judges.
“Separation of powers means that although the ministry cooperates with the judiciary to provide judicial services, it does not provide the judiciary with information on specific cases,” the ministry said.
“This information – evidence and materials – comes to the judge through the parties to the process.
“In addition, the report, which was partially published in this case, notes that intelligence cannot be used as evidence.”
In 2017, Samsudin’s brother in Dubai wrote to authorities asking for bail, a five-year travel ban and psychiatric counseling.
Instead, he spent a year in custody, was briefly released, and then was detained again for another three years.
The security documents are heavily edited, but do not tell about his mental health in the readable parts.
A spokesman for the Federation of Islamic Associations, Abdur Razak, said a FIANZ investigation had shown that authorities had done nothing to try to overthrow Samsudin in the first year of his imprisonment.
In the 2018 SIS report, he was accused of terrorism, which is not the case, Razzak said.
It was a “deliberate attempt to mislead and contradict the court’s ruling. This is evidence of Islamophobia in government agencies, including the NZSIS, as noted by the Royal Commission.
“This is one of many examples where the prime minister could have been misinformed,” he said.
Samsudeen’s threat assessments from a joint police-SIS-correction operation were issued at a time when police intelligence collection was generally broken and weak, and SIS data collection was slowly improving from a very low mark in 2014.
All three agencies declined to comment while awaiting a formal investigation protocol in May.
Eleven government agencies were copied in the SIS report.
He launched an investigation into Samsudin in September 2015 because of his Facebook posts about violence and Islamic State. In the end, they were recognized as R18, but do not cause objections.
In 2018 alone, the SIS and the Threat Assessment Team (CTAG) conducted six threat assessments, including around the release of Samsudin on bail in June.
He had twice been denied bail twice because of the “risk of violent crime.”
A few weeks after he received bail, the SIS said Samsudin was almost certainly mobilizing for an act of violence in New Zealand. The agency has repeatedly warned about this when he was blocked from traveling abroad to participate in jihad – and he was blocked.
At the same time, the CTAG stated that Samsudeen is a “medium” risk, with the ability to carry out an attack with low sophistication using a bladed or other improvised weapon and / or possibly a vehicle.
When he was sentenced in September 2018 to reduce the charges, the Probation Service assessed him as “low average probability of recidivism, but with a low risk of harm”, and the forensic psychiatrist – as “low risk of recidivism”, but the judge disagreed.
A year earlier, after Samsudin’s arrest, his brother had written to authorities that “terrible and painful incidents” in Sri Lanka had led to Samsudin’s mental instability, and that isolated as a refugee in New Zealand, he had fallen into a trap of controversial material online. .
“Any person who suffers from impaired thinking deserves another chance to remake their future,” the brother wrote.
Although the Crown and the defense agreed in September 2018 for one year of supervision because new charges had been filed against Samsudin by then, he did not come out.
He will spend the next three years in custody, including one year in the strict regime wing, which also housed the attacker on the Christchurch Mosque, a unit the ombudsman has strongly criticized for significant security concerns and little rehabilitation opportunities.
Eventually, when he was convicted of two nasty violent religious hymns and released under supervision in July 2021, the judge ordered his rehabilitation, noting that he had the means and motivation to commit acts of violence in society and “despite that has not been severely offended so far as it poses a very high risk of harming others ”.
Police kept him under 24-hour surveillance for the next 53 days, until the day of the attack on LynnMall, where he regularly went shopping.