New Zealand reveals supermarket stabbing terrorist's name after suppression order lifted

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New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (File Photo)
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (File Photo)

Wellington [New Zealand], September 4 (ANI): New Zealand on Saturday revealed the name of the terrorist in the supermarket stabbing incident after a suppression order concealing the man's name and other details from the public was lifted.

The man responsible for Friday's knife attack in New Zealand has been named Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, CNN affiliate RNZ reported.

Earlier, the concealment of the name was challenged by the New Zealand government.

Immigration authorities were seeking to have Samsudeen's refugee status revoked when the attack occurred.

The 32-year-old obtained a knife within the store in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn and used it to stab seven shoppers before police shot him dead, according to authorities, who have called it a "terrorist attack", reported CNN.

Five people remain in the hospital -- including three in a critical condition -- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference Saturday.

Speaking before the suppression order was lifted, Ardern said the attacker, described as a "supporter of ISIS ideology," spent three years in prison after being charged multiple times for possessing hunting knives and objectionable publications and had been released from prison two months ago.

The Sri Lankan national arrived in the country in 2011 on a student visa. He first came to the attention of police in 2016, after posting comments advocating violent extremism on social media.

He was arrested again in 2018 for buying a knife while on bail. A subsequent police search found more "objectionable or extremist materials" at his home.

He faced additional charges and was kept in custody until July this year, when he was sentenced to 12 months of "supervision with special conditions" for possessing objectionable materials and failing to assist the police in exercising search powers, reported CNN.

Arden said prosecutors had run out of legal avenues to keep him detained. During his time in custody, he assaulted corrections officers, Arden added.

Police had kept the man under constant surveillance since his release, Arden said.

Ardern said she had received briefings about the threat the man posed in July -- and again in August.

At the press conference, Ardern also vowed to tighten counter-terrorism laws this month.

In August, Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi pursued a change in the country's terror law to make it illegal to plan a terror attack, even if the attack is not carried out, reported CNN.

"As soon as Parliament resumes, we will complete that work. That means working to pass the law as soon as possible and no later than the end of this month," Ardern said. (ANI)

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