LynnMall attacker was ‘brainwashed’ by neighbours, according to his mother.

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Armed police at LynnMall on Friday, the day of the attack. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

The mother of the LynnMall attacker claims he was influenced by Middle Eastern neighbours.

Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, a 32-year-old refugee originally from Sri Lanka, was shot dead by undercover police after stabbing six people inside Countdown in LynnMall on Friday.

His mother, Ismail Fareeda, has told a TV channel in Sri Lanka that neighbours from Syria and Iraq radicalised Aathil Samsudeen when he was injured in a fall in Sri Lanka in 2016.

She said her son then started posting radical views on social media.

Fareeda said there was a change in her son after he left Sri Lanka and settled in New Zealand in 2011.

She said her two other sons had reprimanded the 32-year-old over his radical views.

In a statement released via a lawyer and credited to Samsudeen’s brother, Aroos, his whānau said they were heartbroken by the horrible act and they wanted to send love and support to those who were hurt.

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The Sri Lankan government is promising to work with New Zealand authorities over Friday’s stabbings at the LynnMall Countdown supermarket, AFP reported.

It was looking at whether Samsudeen was involved in the Easter Sunday bombings in Colombo, which killed 279 people.

The attacks on three churches and three hotels killed 279 people.

The bombs were blamed on a group that swore allegiance to the Islamic State’s then-leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

According to a representative for Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry, the government there condemns the senseless brutality of the west Auckland incident and pledges to work with New Zealand authorities in any way possible.


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