LynnMall terror attack review delayed

Jordyn Rudd
Source: 1News

A coordinated, formal review of events leading up to the LynnMall terror attack in West Auckland last year has been delayed by at least two months.

Police guard the area around Countdown LynnMall after a terrorist carried out a stabbing rampage

The review - conducted by the Independent Police Conduct Authority, the Office of the Inspectorate at the Department of Corrections, and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security - was intended to be completed and reported by now, but the agencies say it’s been larger in scope than previously anticipated.

Five people were stabbed and two others injured when Sri Lankan refugee Ahamed Samsudeen carried out the attack in New Lynn’s Countdown supermarket on September 3. Auckland was in Level 4 lockdown at the time.

Minutes after the attack, the terrorist was shot and killed by police.

It came 53 days after he was released from prison, where he had spent almost three years on remand. Samsudeen was then under 24/7 surveillance by police, including members of the special tactics group.

Samsudeen was a Sri Lankan national and a Tamil Muslim, arriving in New Zealand from Sri Lanka on 21 October 2011 on a student visa. He was granted status as a refugee and later obtained a residency visa.

In September, IPCA and police said it was already investigating the shooting by police of the terrorist - "however, there is also a need to review the events leading up to the attack and Mr Samsudeen’s death, and the extent to which the risk assessment and mitigation strategies in place to respond to the perceived threat he posed were appropriate and adequate", a statement read.

It would look into the actions and decisions "to assess and mitigate the threat posed by Mr Samsudeen were appropriate and adequate, given their mandates, functions and powers".

The review would look at the time frame from the beginning of his most recent period in custody and since his release seven weeks before the September attack.

It would not look into decisions made prior to that timeframe, decisions around his refugee status, immigration and deportation and the justification for the police shooting.