Saturday, December 4

Shocked neighborhood, LynnMall terrorist lived among them


Neighbors of terrorist LynnMall are shocked that such a dangerous individual lived on their west Auckland street and wonder why the authorities allowed it.

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

Photo: RNZ / Jean Bell

Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen had lived in the annex of Masjid-e-Bilal, a small Islamic center, since he was released from prison in July. Residents are concerned about a backlash and the president of the Muslim Association wants answers.

Downtown Glen Eden was cordoned off yesterday, but today the police tape disappeared.

Blair, who lives and runs a plastic recycling business there, described a close encounter with the terrorist. He noticed something unusual when his exterior sensor lights came on.

“The man in question was here two Saturdays ago at 6:30 in the morning in my seat and I chased him away,” he said.

Blair said he only realized that the attacker on Friday was the man who lived nearby when Samsudeen was photographed on television, the neighbors had no idea.

“I am not happy that they did not inform us on the street that we had a serious case here,” he said.

Another neighbor, who also runs a street business, said authorities defrauded them by harboring a known threat there.

He said the area could have been in danger.

“We have workers on site. He could have walked here, so we wouldn’t know. At least if we had any warning, we could have taken some precautions. I think it’s unfair to put that in the middle of our community.” “

Muslim woman Sabila lives nearby with her family. She does not pray in the center as it is only for men. On Friday, he saw police cars on his street and was shocked to learn what had happened on the news.

“As Muslims, we condemn that attack. As Muslims, we are not allowed to kill a human being. If we kill a human being, it is as if we kill every human being on Earth.”

Sabila said she feels the street is safe, but has heard of racism towards some Muslims since the attack and asks for understanding.

“If you have a Muslim neighbor, talk to him, get to know him. He is not like the terrorist.”

Her husband, Wawan Ruswana, prays daily in the center, but he did not know Samsudeen.

He was concerned that some people here might view Muslims differently in light of the attack, as he and his wife have been subjected to racism before, including after the Paris terror attacks in 2015.

“It’s not just the first, the second or the third time they spat her out … they just called her a terrorist right away without, you know, meeting her … or telling you to go back to your country,” he said.

Ruswana has a simple message.

“Love each other, be humble, no matter what happened,” he said.

Muslim Association President Ikhlaq Kashkari said police and Corrections have been in talks with the association since 2018 about guidance and counseling for Samsudeen while he was in custody and after his release.

However, he did not learn until Friday that the attacker had been living in an apartment belonging to Masjid-e-Bilal since July, when he was released from prison.

“The Glen Eden Mosque is a very small Islamic center and in my opinion it has no capacity or capacity to support something like this, so I would really like to understand the reason and logic behind Corrections decision to go to Glen Eden. Mosque, “he said.

“That absolutely baffled me and is difficult to accept. I think there is more to what has been said in public.”

Kashkari said that faith has nothing to do with Friday’s attack and that the Muslim community supports the victims.

Corrections have been contacted for comment.


www.rnz.co.nz

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