New Lynn attack: Community leaders say Corrections shouldn't have housed supermarket terrorist in mosque

Corrections is being accused of housing the New Lynn terrorist in a mosque that had no system in place or the skills to safely manage him in the community.

The New Zealand Muslim Association was in discussions to help rehabilitate Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen.

But they had no idea he was living at the Glen Eden mosque until Friday's attack.

For 53 days, Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen was living in the annexe of the Masjid-E-Bilal mosque in Glen Eden. But the Muslim Association says he should never have been there.

"I don't know if they were aware of what they were getting into," Ikhlaq Kashkari says.

Ikhlaq Kashkari was in talks with officials for months about finding Samsudeen a safe and appropriate place while sentenced to community supervision.

He doesn't believe the Glen Eden mosque was appropriate at all.

"It's got very limited skills and capability and capacity for something like that," Kashkari says.

The association and Corrections first met to discuss Samsudeen's rehabilitation in October last year.

In November, the association emailed its support, but expressed concern about reputational risk, the Muslim community's wellbeing and a drain on resources.

Later that month, Corrections said it could help manage those risks and the association's Imam went to visit Samsudeen in the high-security unit of Paremoremo Prison.

The Imam went back a second time in April this year and found Samsudeen to be a completely different person.

"He was very agitated, aggravated. He was unhappy with how he was being treated by the guards," Kashkari says.

In May, when Samsudeen was about to go on trial, Corrections said they were no longer sure of his intent to engage with the Muslim community, and thanked the association for their efforts.

Which is why Kashkari is so shocked that until last Friday he was living in a mosque.

"Why did they tell me they didn't need it and then he was in Glen Eden mosque?" Kashkari asks.

The Prime Minister on Monday backed Corrections' decision-making.

"I'm confident agencies did everything within their power to keep the community safe," Jacinda Ardern said.

In a statement to Newshub on Monday night, police said there were "limited options".

"The terrorist required a suitable address to reside at to support his rehabilitation back into the community upon his release. There were limited options," a spokesperson said.

"The accommodation annexe at Waikaukau Road was assessed by Corrections and supported by Police as being an environment that would support his rehabilitation.

"The terrorist was released from prison on supervision and bail conditions which specified he was to reside at that premises from Monday 12 July 2021.

"It is clear that people associated to the premises tried as hard as they could to moderate his views and behaviour and we thank them for their leadership in our community."

Newshub has spoken to a leader of the Masjid-E-Bilal mosque today who say the faith community there is still processing the attack.

Three of the people attacked are still in intensive care but are in a stable condition.

One other person remains in hospital while the other three victims are recovering at home.