Auckland Supermarket Stabber's Mother Reveals Likely Cause of Son’s Descent Into Extremism
16:50 GMT 05.09.2021 (Updated: 16:51 GMT 05.09.2021)
The attacker’s mother said that her son “changed only after going abroad”, and that it was people who helped him after a particular incident in 2016 who possibly “brainwashed” him.
The mother of Ahamed Samsudeen, a 32-year-old native of Sri Lanka and an extremist inspired by Daesh* who went on a stabbing spree at a supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday, has recently opened up about who might be responsible for the radicalisation of her son.
Ahamed arrived in New Zealand back in 2011 on a student visa and applied for refugee status "on the basis of being persecuted in his home country", according to AP.
Speaking from her home in Sri Lanka during a phone interview with a local TV station, Ahamed’s mother, Mohamedismail Fareetha, insisted that her son “changed only after going abroad”, and highlighted an incident in 2016 when he fell several floors while attending university.
"Because he did not have anyone there, it was people from Syria and Iraq who helped him. It looks like they brainwashed him. Then he started posting on Facebook," she said, as quoted by AP.
Samsudeen's "online support for terrorist" status reportedly came to the attention of the authorities in 2016, and in 2017 he was arrested in Auckland Airport while heading for Syria, presumably to join the ranks of Daesh there.
3 September 2021, 05:23 GMT
"After being arrested in 2017 he talked less with us, it was about once every three months," Fareetha said.
She also mentioned that two of her other sons "were angry" with Samsudeen and "scolded him".
On the day Samsudeen carried out his stabbing attack, he was followed from his home to the supermarket by a police surveillance team and a specialist tactics group, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said, noting that they apparently had no reason to suspect that he was planning an attack at that time.
During the attack, Samsudeen stabbed random shoppers at the supermarket, injuring seven before being shot by the police.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia