Neighbours brainwashed my son says terrorist’s mother

Dead terrorist Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen

Sourced Content
Auckland, September 5, 2021

The mother of the Lynn Mall terrorist has said that he was brainwashed by neighbours from the Middle East.

Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, a 32-year-old refugee originally from Sri Lanka, was shot dead by undercover Police after stabbing six people inside Countdown in Lynn Mall on Friday, September 3, 2021.

A seventh person was also injured in the attack.

Indian Newslink Reports of this incident can be read here, here, and here.

His mother, Ismail Fareeda told a TV channel in Sri Lanka that neighbours from Syria and Iraq radicalised Aathil Samsudeen when he was injured in a fall in 2016.

Radical views on social media

She said that her son then started posting radical views on social media. According to her, there was a change in her son after he left Sri Lanka and settled in New Zealand in 2011.

In a statement released via a lawyer and credited to Samsudeen’s brother, Aroos, his family said that they were heartbroken by the horrible act and that they wanted to send love and support to those who were hurt.

“We are so shaken by what has happened and we do not know what to do. We hope these words will help bring some peace to your beautiful country. We are ready to help you all in the healing process no matter what it is needed from us. We hope to find out with you all, what happened in Aathil’s case and what we all could have done to prevent this. We are heartbroken by this terrible event. My father still doesn’t know that my brother is dead because he has been missing him so much and is very ill these days.”

“Political Torture” in New Zealand

The statement said Samsudeen, who arrived in New Zealand in 2011 on a student visa, suffered from “political torture” and his mental health steadily declined over the years.

Samsudeen spent a lot of time on social media, it said.

“We saw that his mental health got worse and worse during the last 10 years or so. He spent a lot of his time in prison and was always struggling with some court cases. When we heard that he was in prison in New Zealand, we thought it would do him some good but didn’t realise he would spend so much time there. He also had many problems in prison.”

Members of the wider family visited New Zealand in 2013.

Lynn Mall, where the shooting took place, is closed to public (RNZ Photo by Jean Bell)

“We love your country and your people and we know from what we have seen since the Christchurch attack (March 15, 2019) that you are good people. We want to stand with you. We have lost Aathil. He was the youngest and very close to my father. He grew up with my parents in the family home while the rest of us grew up mainly in hostels. Aathil was the baby of the family. My mother is so upset.”

Samsudeen’s brother said that there were difficulties.

“Aathil always contradicted what he was told. He would hang up the phone on us when we told him to forget about all of the issues about which he was obsessed. Then he would call us back when he realised he was wrong. We feel very sad that he could not be saved. The prisons and the situation were hard on him and he did not have any support. He told us he was assaulted there.”

The statement said that the family hoped that they will remain safe now that the identity of the attacker has been made public.

“We all have to try to accept this. I pray that God will help us all to heal from this very sad day. We are thinking of you all. We are thinking of our parents. We are thinking of the boy who left us and the innocent people. Our lives have changed forever. We realise that it will take us some time to come to terms with this. We are thinking of the injured, both mentally and physically.”

Attacks in Sri Lanka in 2019

On a related note, the Sri Lankan government has promised to work with New Zealand authorities over Lynn Mall terrorist attack, AFP reported.

It had been investigating whether Samsudeen was linked to the bombings in Colombo on Easter Sunday 2019, which killed 279 people. The bombings were blamed on a group that pledged allegiance to the then Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

A spokesperson for Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said that his government condemns the senseless violence of the West Auckland attack and will cooperate with the New Zealand authorities in any way necessary.

-Published under a Special Agreement with www.rnz.co.nz

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