Extremist plotted in suburban granny flat
HASSAN Khalif Shire Ali had split from his wife and become distanced from his family in the lead-up to Friday’s attack.
The Sunday Mail can reveal the Somali-born Islamist terrorist had drug and alcohol problems and attended the Hume Islamic Council.
He is understood to have visited Somalia before his passport was cancelled in 2015.
Investigators are seeking to determine what motivated the Bourke St attack and if he had been in communication with other people about it.
Prison officers searched the cell of a person known to Shire Ali at dawn yesterday.
No evidence was uncovered but the prisoner has now been moved to protection over fears his association with Shire Ali could make him a target.
A suppression order granted in an out-of-sessions Supreme Court hearing yesterday prevents The Sunday Mail from detailing some of Shire Ali’s past.
But Meadow Heights residents have told how police carried out a 3am raid on a home where the terrorist had lived.
One neighbour said Shire Ali had lived in the bungalow for about a year. He was seen with a woman and a young boy.
The neighbour said Shire Ali may have been a tradesman after seeing him with tools and a wheelbarrow in the ute used in the Bourke St attack.
The owners of the home linked to the granny flat are not connected with Shire Ali.
Officers also raided a Werribee property, believed to be home to the attacker’s father.
Police also confirmed they had spoken to Shire Ali’s wife.
Australian Federal Police acting Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney said Shire Ali had been radicalised and had his passport cancelled in 2015 when he tried to go to Syria. But he was not being monitored.
He said the attack was linked to Islamic State, but he did not believe Shire Ali had actually been in contact with the group.
Mr McCartney said that while police had assessed that Shire Ali had held radical views, they had concluded he “did not pose a threat to the national security environment”.