New Zealand tried for years to deport the extremist Samsudeen | World information

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand has tried for years to deport the knife-wielding militant who wounded seven people at a shopping mall in Auckland last week, the government said after it released further details about the attacker after a cease and desist order was lifted.

Court documents released on Sunday named the attacker Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, a Tamil Muslim from Sri Lanka. He had arrived in New Zealand 10 years ago on a student visa for refugee status issued in 2013.

Samsudeen became aware of police and security services in 2016 after posting his sympathy for militant attacks, violent war-related videos and comments advocating violent extremism on Facebook.

His refugee status was later revealed to have been fraudulently obtained, the government said in a statement, adding that the process to revoke his refugee status has begun.

Police shot and killed Samsudeen, who had been sentenced and detained for about three years before his release in July, shortly after he started his stabbing on Friday.

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“I met with officials in person in July this year and I expressed my concern that the law might allow someone who has fraudulently obtained immigration status and poses a threat to our national security to stay,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“That was a frustrating process.”

The Samsudeen attack has raised questions about why he was allowed to stay free when authorities decided he needed to be watched closely.

Ardern on Saturday promised to pass laws criminalizing terrorist attack planning and tightening other counter-terrorism laws.

Samsudeen’s family issued a statement to the local New Zealand media describing their shock at the attack.

“We are heartbroken after this terrible event,” said a statement by his brother Aroos published by the state broadcaster 1NEWS.

“We hope to find out with all of you what happened in Aathil’s case and what we could all have done to prevent it,” the statement said.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Richard Chang)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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