EXCLUSIVE: Arthur Taylor – “Countdown Stabber Was Not a “Terrorist”


You could almost say I live by John Curran’s well-known quote: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”  A large part of my life has been spent rebuffing and fighting attempts to intrude into our civil liberties, our “human rights.” 

Very apt name, they attach to us for no other reason than we are human beings. In Aotearoa/New Zealand the most important human rights are set out,  “guaranteed”, in the Bill of Rights.

They have been hard fought for by our forebears, many of whom lost their lives and, certainly, much blood, sweat  and tears so we can enjoy them. Once lost they are usually not regained  without expenditure of immense effort, if not lives.

That vigilance is never more needed  when it comes to proposals to introduce  so-called “anti-terrorist”  legislation. Presently, the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill currently before Parliament with the Government saying it needs to be passed urgently, 

The National Party led by Judith Collins are wholeheartedly in support. That in itself ought to signal the need for caution as they, and her during her disastrous reign as Minister of Justice, were at the forefront of incursions into and attacks on human rights. I’ve no doubt that if she thought she could have got away with it she would have repealed/amended large parts of the Bill of Rights.

The current impetus to act urgently on this legislation is   the so-called “terrorist” stabbings  at Countdown, LynnMall. There is an  old saying I love which is: “act in haste repent at leisure.”  For anyone not familiar with it,  it means if you make a hasty decision, you will have plenty of time to mull over your mistake later.

I am calling for an independent (of the security/law enforcement agencies) inquiry  into how those agencies tasked/paid to protect us handled Ahamed Samsudeem.  

From what I know they have learned nothing from previous debacles.

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We all need to be very worried about that because unless they do learn how to respond appropriately then real terrorists  (the likes of the Christchurch Mosque murderer) are free to go about their activities without fear of detection.

Ahamed Samsudeem was not a real “terrorist” (as most people  understand the meaning of that) at all. He was simply a deluded, mentally ill ISIS supporter. He could just as easily have been an ACT or National party backer!  ISIS will never have heard of him and wouldn’t want a bar of him.  He would present a serious threat to their security.

What was different about him from the nutcase who carried out the stabbings at the Dunedin Countdown stabbings just over three months ago (apart from being a Muslim/brown and having a foreign name)?  I do not think even Judith Collins considers him a “terrorist.”  

So, the first thing our security/law enforcement agencies need to figure out is who is a real terrorist. Otherwise, the net of the already draconian anti-terrorist legislation will be spread too wide and catch up mainly non “terrorists” with attendant unnecessary breaches of and incursions into their human rights under the guise of them being a “terrorist.”

A couple of days after the tragic stabbings at LynnMall, I talked with a prisoner (H) at Paremoremo Maximum Security Prison.  Ahamed Samsudeem  was housed in the cell directly across from him after he was moved there from Mt Eden. 

At this point his name was still suppressed. H said as soon as he heard news reports of the stabbings, he knew it had been him. During his time opposite him he had “acted crazy,” thrown urine and faeces out of his food hatch, constantly abused guards and other prisoners and made no secret that he intended to stab people at a supermarket when he got out. He had reportedly been acting in the same way at Mt Eden, ,and assaulted two prison guards.

He is lucky that he was never unlocked with any other prisoner because I’ve no doubt he would have been in no state to bow his nose let alone stab multiple people simply going about their shopping. Pare Max crims are not known for suffering fools lightly, and that is what they considered him an idiot and a fool! If you suggested to the likes of H  that Ahamed Samsudeem was a terrorist, they would have thought you as delusional as him! No way would a real “terrorist” act in the way he was.

We’ve  had the monumental cockups with Ahmed Zaoui  (who also ended up in Pare Max), Operation Eight,  the Christchurch Mosque murderer,  and now this one. This provides strong evidence that the agencies responsible  are not able to distinguish who is and is not a “terrorist”. A fundamental  precursor to dealing with them effectively.

The reason the existing anti-terrorist legislation was ineffective against Ahamed Samsudeem was because he was not one, so the evidence was not there. However, he was, mentally unbalanced and delusional admirer of ISIS. There was plenty of evidence of that and I believe he could have been detained as a mentally disordered person under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. 

Arthur Taylor is TDBs prisoner rights blogger.

The seven people who were victimised by Samsudeem (and my heart goes out to them) were also victimised by the  State failing to recognise what he really was and deploy the appropriate legislation (of which there is already plenty) to deal with him.



  1. ‘Religious terrorism is a type of religious violence where terrorism is used as a tactic to achieve religious goals or which are influenced by religious identity’ – Wikipedia

    He was a terrorist.

    • Of course he was a terrorist. Islam has never undergone a reformation like Christianity, separating religion and state. Samsudeen was pursuing the same goal as ISIS, hIs heroes, attacking and attempting to murder infidels in order to implement the new caliphate. Like all the progressive lefties and sadly most Western govts Taylor just doesn’t get it. He should start by reading Raymond Ibrahim’s “Sword and Scimitar”.

  2. About these wars – yes indeed, when the US throws a tantrum, watch out world. But for heavens sake, don’t join in. So much of it is about lashing out aimlessly because of not only grief but a bruised national ego.

  3. I disagree, you could argue that Tarrant was exactly the same type of person.

    The reason that these people are terrorists is that they wanted to harm people who they didn’t know, in a public place, to cause ‘terror’ while calling out ideological slogans.

    Against people who try to attack and harm people they do know, aka school and work and family murders.

    Does Samsudeem represent most Muslims/Sri Lankans/wannabe refugees, nope, does Tarrant represent most white supremacists/Nazi sympathisers/Australians/ (which according to the woke, are everywhere, but should still get government funding aka Harry Tam sieg Heil types), nope.

    As for Ahmed Zaoui, he apparently had 2 government death sentence against him, and unlike Samsudeem never told the courts he wanted to harm others in mass attacks. They are completely different cases.

    • Ahmed Zaoui was labelled a “terrorist” when he obviously wasn’t. the Operation Eight “terrorist'” operation was a complete farce. Tarrant was not even on the police or security agency radar. The point of my blog is that human rights are sought to be curtailed under the guise of it being necessary to counter terrorism. If they are granted these draconian powers then they must only be used against ‘terrorists” as that is the justification for them being sought/granted. By jonesys definition anyone who (e.g.) assaults’ someone and at the same time shouts out “Allah Hu Akbar” is a “terrorist (however deluded/crazy). Really?? I don’t think most people would agree with draconian anti terrorist powers being used in such cases.

      • The most important thing is getting the law right, keeping human rights but also not allowing it to be a farce.

        The woke are tying to criminalise everyone except the criminals. The woke which seems to have more than their fair share of lawyers, have made others so fearful of saying no, or standing up to manipulation, that we have a two tier system for justice.

        The justice system can somehow can keep Ashley Peacock in solitary for 20 years, but an overseas offender/refugee who is actively talking about killing, is let out with guards because it is against his human rights.

        Manipulative people are attracted to NZ due to the ease of using loopholes in our law to come to NZ.

        Weirdly when it comes to locals, our law has a different tack of criminalising and putting people in jail even if they are teenagers. The justice reports are often full of errors but the woke don’t worry about the many who are victims of growing injustice who are NZ citizens from birth, they worry about the few criminals from overseas wanting to harm people here, making sure they get every loophole and opportunity to stay in NZ to victimise others.

      • Let me get this right. Corrections went to the trouble of employing an Australian criminologist to devise a de-radicalisation programme for a Muslim man who had downloaded and distributed vile ISIS propaganda material, who told a judge he was doing so to learn about his religion and who’s internet searches included “Captive by the enemies of Allah” and you are telling me when this man attacks and stabs 7 infidels he is not a terrorist? Clearly you need to contact the Prime Minister and the New Zealand Muslim Association leader straight away before they continue with their misleading epithet.

        • Apparently NZ created this terrorist is the woke reading. If NZ pours copious amounts of money into various charities around these types of offenders, then NZ could unlock and rehabilitate these terrorists – because unfortunately the vast amounts of people who were involved and paid large amounts of money for their expertise in this sorry case, did not receive enough funding to ‘help’ him.

          But we did find out his job. He sometimes worked in a a kebab shop and stopped his student course within one month of arriving in NZ.

          In spite of many “checks” NZ security did not find any information about him to stop him being given a NZ student visa and made a NZ permanent resident or considered a terror risk.

          • Read all the Stuff article then provide a list of all the missed opportunities where people were not allowed to help him before deciding it was a woke article just because you disagree. People have had mental illness as a defence for all sorts of violent crimes and any quick study of the circumstances shows that it was a motivating factor in this case.

            • I think Anne with an E (She/Her) is spot on with her analysis. It is pathetic, especially when we have NZ teenagers in jail who don’t even commit a crime and certainly don’t tell the judge they want to harm others, let alone get personal criminologists in jail, 2 guards, massive lawyers and constant ‘cultural’ support, constant leeway and benefit of doubt in his crumbling stories.

  4. He sure sounds terroristy, downloading terrorist stuff and wanting to kill infidels, that sort of thing.

    I get your angle on not wanting more state over reach in any new laws but this guy was an Islamic terrorist.

    I’m sure most terrorists and mass murderers aren’t right in the head but it doesn’t undefine their crimes.
    Was the Yorkshire Ripper schizophrenic? Wasn’t he still a mass murderer?

    The laws id like to see tightened would be to allow for immediate deportation of any immigrant or refugee threatening to or committing a crime which carries more than a three year potential sentence.
    Australia was right all along with their approach and we are pathetically soft and being harmed for it.

  5. Well said Arthur. I had also formed a similar opinion on the public info available. This man was mentally unbalanced. His mother shared that he was attacked in his home country, so I’m thinking there was definitely some trauma he had suffered, details unknown. Not a terrorist. He was a wounded child who never healed. He needed wrap around support. He wasn’t paranoid either. The authorities really were after him. jmho

    • So very true, and tragic. Mental health has not been supported well in NZ as anyone who knows anyone with severe mental health issues know this and can recognise in this poor man. This guy clearly was suffering and was put behind bars as therapy. Well, that didn’t work out did it.

    • But what on earth was he doing returning to his home country after been awarded refugee status because he had been threatened, mistreated and tortured by Sri Lankan authorities prior to his arrival in New Zealand and evidently had marks on his body to prove this. His father who had suffered the same treatment remained in Sri Lanka with the rest of the family. Would you not think that there would have been a request for family reunification if Samsudeen was suffering so badly alone in New Zealand and the father remained in a country which had physically abused and humiliated him? I can find no record of any such request.

  6. Well said Arthur… Do you remember Mike Kalaugher telling you about Karl Lobb? Our brother’s killer 11/11/11… Lobb was also Secret Crown witness Mr X in the Thomas Royal Commission 1980… instructed to lie under oath about Arthur Thomas under oath in a closed court hearing… with two prison snitches.. the other evidence was given in front of the public… Robert Fisher was the Police lawyer who coaxed witnesses to lie under oath and thanks to Arthur THomas’s brother Des, we have all those court transcripts… so that is why Lobb got away with killing (2 ex police have said murdered) my brother on the Balles/Chapman farm near Pukekawa 11/11/11… we have proof of the extent the ‘system’ will go to when they need to protect someone. Judith Collins and Robert Fisher absolutely ridiculed Canadian Justice Binnie when he tried to tell NZ the facts about the corrupt Bain case as well… look how many people Fisher tries to deny compensation for wrongful imprisonment…I’ve been bullied and mocked for speaking out but if it was your family member’s killed or wrongfully convicted (framed) would you sit back and do nothing? Evidence is strong in our case but who has got the strength and integrity to do something about it?

  7. terrorist
    a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

    What were the political aims of the Lynn Mall attacker?
    All indications are there were none but there was ample indication of (unaddressed) mental health issues.

    • The definition you offer although commonly used is deficient. Terrorism often has religious/other than political aims and motivations, unless you insist on calling all such things “political”. I however think they deserve some degree of differentiation. That being the case this incident may have religious/other motivations and can easily be described as a terror attack with religious or other aims which don’t have to be rational. In other words it is terrorism.

      • What evidence do you have he had any goals at all…. political or otherwise? All the indications are it was a spur of the moment attack using whatever weapon came to hand…a weapon he appears to have had something of an affinity with.

        Like the Dunedin supermarket attacker he is mentally unwell….your not wishing to recognise the fact dosnt alter it

  8. I agree with this absolutely:
    “Ahamed Samsudeem was not a real “terrorist” (as most people understand the meaning of that) at all. He was simply a deluded, mentally ill ISIS supporter. He could just as easily have been an ACT or National party backer! ISIS will never have heard of him and wouldn’t want a bar of him. He would present a serious threat to their security.”

    Don’t forget Nelson Mandela a terrorist…. oh and then ex politicians who supported thee ’81 tour got a free trip to SA. What a joke.

    Plenty of terrorists and war criminals in the world: Israel, the United States.

  9. So we’ve swung from beautiful successful sports gods being lauded for quitting (or killing themselves after a weekend in the Alps with other sports gods) when their mental problems become too much, to weaponising mental illness against an unattractive, unsuccessful ideologue who loses the plot and wants to kill?

  10. I’m not convinced that there is a lot of value in an overworked, and almost impossible, distinction between terrorism and straight out murderous crazy. The victims are still dead or maimed and the rest of us terrorised to various degrees. Are Islamic State suicide bombers sane? Is the Allahu Akbar screaming nutter a terrorist? The (so-called) peace activists terrorising wellington cinema goers with their fake bombs?

  11. I find it hard to take the post seriously when the author is happy to politicise his thoughts by somehow insinuating that the National party leader JC is more likely to be about diluting our human rights than any other political or religious animal. Anybody’s capable of terrorism not least of which could be the desperate actions of those disenfranchised by any Government including this labour one. I suggest the author has trouble distinguishing who and who isn’t a terrorist and of what political or religious persuasion they’re likely to be.

  12. He was an isolated delusional mentally ill person with aspirations toward political and religious terrorism, which he carried out.

    I simply fail to see why any of the above have to be sole either/or conditions.

  13. IMHO FWIW, we’re asking the wrong question. (’tis so, ’tis not, ’tis so, ’tis not is getting us nowhere)
    What’s more important is something Jehan Casinader, Paul Buchanan, Geddes and others seem to be thinking about:

    Did we find a terrorist? Or did we create one?

    What opportunities were missed to prevent it all – just like a lot of other failures we’ve seen with the cistern.

    • Easy answer, don’t let mentally ill/terrorists into NZ on visas. Then Samsudeem would most probably be happy and alive with his family where ever they are (Sri Lanka?) and not shot dead, with another 7 knifed in NZ. Or the government should have let him leave in 2013 and he could have happily lived out his cultural destiny of joining ISIS. Who are we to stop his human rights. No doubt like the ISIS bride, he would be back with the family to reclaim NZ residency before long, so the woke will not miss out on their golden goose cause to obsess about.

      • Easy answer? I’d suggest it’s you that’s looking for the easy answers all dressed up in black and white.
        As I’ve said many a time @SaveNZ, there’s much we agree on but you do come from a perspective that seems to think we’re somehow more exceptional than other human beings.
        You piqued my interest ages when you mentioned your experiences and expectations of the (your) big OE.
        Best we not argue however because IMHO, your mind is closed to anything other than the references you can point to that justify your position – and there are plenty – usually stuff or similar.

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