Friday 9/17/21
TERRORISM

New Zealand government tried for years to deport Auckland terrorist

Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen came to New Zealand in 2011 on a student visa and made a claim for refugee status
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a press conference at New Zealand Parliament in Auckland. A Sri Lankan national injured six people at an Auckland supermarket on Friday in a terrorist attack. Photo: Robert Kitchin/STUFF POOL via AAP/dpa
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a press conference at New Zealand Parliament in Auckland. Photo: Robert Kitchin/dpa.

The New Zealand government tried for years to deport the man responsible for a terror attack at a supermarket earlier this week, it could be revealed on Sunday.

On Friday, Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, attacked seven people in an Auckland supermarket. He was shot dead by undercover police that had been covertly following him non-stop since July.

Court orders that prevented the publication of the man's name and his immigration status were lifted on Sunday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement Immigration New Zealand (INZ) had been attempting to deport the Sri Lankan national since 2018.

Samsudeen came to New Zealand in 2011 on a student visa and made a claim for refugee status, Ardern said.

It was declined, but overturned on appeal and he was granted refugee status in December 2013.

In 2016 the man came to the attention of the police and INZ was "made aware of information that led them to believe the individual's refugee status was fraudulently obtained," Ardern said.

Deportation

His refugee status was cancelled in 2019, but he appealed his deportation.

INZ then explored whether they could detain the man while his appeal was held.

"It was incredibly disappointing and frustrating when legal advice came back to say this wasn't an option," Ardern said.

The man was likely to be considered a "protected person" because of the status of the country from which he had travelled, and likely treatment on return. Protected people cannot be deported from New Zealand.

Three of those wounded in Friday's attack remained in a critical condition in hospital on Sunday.

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