Thursday, December 9

LynnMall Attack: Terrorist Dumped Feces, Staff Attacked – Fixes

The Department of Corrections has released more details about the LynnMall terrorist’s violent behavior while in prison.

Mount Eden Prison

During his time at Mt Eden, Ahamed Samsudeen threatened staff and beat two officers, Corrections says.
Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, was shot and killed by police after stabbing six people inside Countdown LynnMall in West Auckland.

He had spent almost three years in pre-trial detention and, at the time of the attack, had only been released for seven weeks.

He had been living at Masjid-e-Bilal in the Auckland suburb of Glen Eden.

The National Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, Rachel Leota, said that while in prison, Samsudeen “did not comply, with multiple incidents of threats and abuse of staff.”

This included numerous occasions in which he threw urine and feces at staff, as well as threatening and assaulting them with violence.

In one case, at Mt Eden Prison Corrections, he said he was unlocked for exercise, but began arguing with staff and his behavior escalated, hitting two officers.

“When he was transferred to the management unit, his behavior escalated again, with threats directed at staff. He then attacked staff again before force was used and was secured in a cell in the management unit,” he said Leota.

During his final year behind bars, Samsudeen was transferred to Auckland Maximum Security Prison under the supervision of the Directorate for People at Extreme Risk.

This is the same unit created to manage Christchurch mosque attacker Brenton Tarrant.

Management deals with offenders identified as posing an extreme and continuing risk of serious harm and / or having the ability and intent to seriously threaten prison and community security.

Because Corrections identified Samsudeen with “potentially violent extremist views,” he received advice from the Against Violent Extremism forum on how best to support and rehabilitate the prisoner.

“Attempts were made to provide him with mental health support while in prison, however, he refused to participate. He also refused to meet with a Corrections psychologist while in prison.”

Ahmed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen appears before Auckland High Court on 7 August 2018.

Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen.
Photo: New Zealand Herald / Greg Bowker

The Fight Against Violent Extremism and Corrections forum decided to contact the local Muslim community.

The department wanted him to meet with an imam and talk about his spiritual beliefs. This happened twice, but Corrections said it did not participate in a meaningful way.

Prior to Samsudeen’s release from prison, the department, police and partner agencies created a plan to keep the community and staff safe from the extreme risk posed by his violent extremist ideology, this included where he could live after his death. release.

The terrorist told Corrections that he had no family, friends or support people who could help him and that he would need help, but that he had previously lived in a mosque, although he was not willing to consider it again.

Public housing was unavailable due to current demand and Samsudeen eventually said he would consider a mosque.

Leota said Corrections met with the police and the manager of Masjid-e-Bilal, who was informed of the context surrounding his charges, his risk profile and the conditions he would have when he was released into the community.

The mosque manager told Corrections that he would consider it, but that he wanted to meet Samsudeen first.

The couple met while he was in prison and the address was approved.

Police on duty at the Masjid-E-Bilal Mosque in Glen Eden, West Auckland - September 4, 2021

Police on duty at the Masjid-E-Bilal mosque in Glen Eden, west of Auckland, on Saturday.
Photo: RNZ / Jean Bell

During the seven weeks that Samsudeen was in the community, Corrections said that he had regular communication with the manager of Masjid-e-Bilal and his attorney.

The department had also initiated a request to the Superior Court for strengthened restrictions due to concerns about its increasing risk.

She also considered accusing him for the lack of commitment to a private and prison psychologist, but was told that it was not enough to be considered a breach of their conditions.

Leota said she was confident that Community Corrections staff were using all available legal avenues to monitor, assess, mitigate and manage their risk.

“He was a very, very difficult person to handle and was increasingly openly hostile and abusive towards probation personnel.

“Despite this, the staff continued to work hard to involve him in his sentencing and tried to get him to participate in treatment and activities designed to reduce his risk of violence, to which he consistently refused.”

Leota said he believed Community Corrections’ contact with him exceeded the minimum level for someone subject to supervision and the staff worked exceptionally hard to prevent the potential for serious harm caused by this person.

“They, and all of us, will always ask what else could have been done to prevent the terrible offense that occurred on Friday,” Leota said.

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