AUCKLAND, New Zealand — When Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen grabbed a knife at a Countdown supermarket on Friday in West Auckland and began stabbing shoppers, the police were just outside.
They had followed him there. They had, in fact, been following him for months, since he was released from prison. Officials at the highest levels of New Zealand’s government knew about Mr. Samsudeen, an Islamic State sympathizer — including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who had received briefings about his case.
Mr. Samsudeen, whose name was made public on Saturday night after the lapsing of a New Zealand court order, was considered so dangerous that on the very day he wounded seven people at the supermarket and was shot dead by the police, Ms. Ardern’s government had been trying to expedite counterterrorism legislation in Parliament to give law enforcement officials a legal way to take him back into custody.
“Agencies used every tool available to them to protect innocent people from this individual,” Ms. Ardern said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon. “Every legal avenue was tried,” she added.
murdered 51 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.
Now, like other countries, New Zealand is grappling with the trade-offs between monitoring suspects and preventing terrorist attacks, and with concerns about containing the power of the government and the police to surveil and
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