LynnMall terror attack: Perpetrator left New Zealand despite being on Government terror watch list

The terrorist who carried out an "ISIS-inspired" attack with a knife on shoppers at the Countdown in west Auckland's LynnMall was able to leave New Zealand even after he was put on a Government watch list.

Officials had been trying to deport 32-year-old Sri Lankan national Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen for years.

Samsudeen, a Tamil Muslim, arrived in New Zealand in 2011 where he was later granted refugee status.

However, in 2018, he was notified this would be revoked, something Samsudeen challenged. A final decision on this had not been made by the time of Friday afternoon's attack where he injured seven people before he was fatally shot by police.

Samsudeen travelled to Samoa for a short trip in November 2016. He was already on the terror watch list at this point and was a national security threat.

He was on Police's radar for expressing sympathy for terror attacks and posting violent videos and comments advocating for violent extremism.

He'd been spoken to by Police twice already.

This trip to Samoa was just five months before he was arrested at Auckland Airport where he was thought to be en route to Syria.

Although you can't just be arrested for being on a terror watch list, there are many travel routes a person could take to Syria.

Newshub has asked New Zealand's spy agencies if they gave Samoa notice that a potentially violent extremist was about to visit them.