So­ma­lian-born sus­pect in­spired by IS

MEL­BOURNE KNIFE AT­TACK

Tempo - - World -

MEL­BOURNE (Reuters) – A So­mali-born man who set fire to a truck laden with gas cylin­ders in the cen­ter of Mel­bourne and fa­tally stabbed one per­son was in­spired by Is­lamic State but did not have di­rect links with the group, Aus­tralian po­lice said on Satur­day.

Po­lice iden­ti­fied the man re­spon­si­ble for Fri­day’s at­tack as 30-year-old Has­san Khalif Shire Ali and said he was rad­i­cal­ized and in­spired by the mil­i­tant group’s pro­pa­ganda. He was shot by po­lice and died in hos­pi­tal.

Po­lice said Shire Ali’s Aus­tralian pass­port was can­celed in 2015 af- ter an in­tel­li­gence re­port he planned to travel to Syria, but an as­sess­ment was made that while he had rad­i­cal views, he posed no threat to na­tional se­cu­rity.

Is­lamic State had claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack, which came two days be­fore Re­mem­brance Day, mark­ing 100 years since the end of World War One, with­out pro­vid­ing any ev­i­dence.

“I think it is fair to say he (Shire Ali) was in­spired. He was rad­i­cal­ized,” Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice Act­ing Deputy Com­mis­sioner Ian McCart­ney told re­porters in Mel­bourne.

“We’re not say­ing there was di­rect con­tact. We’re say­ing it was more from an in­spi­ra­tion per­spec­tive.”

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son said the na­tional ter­ror­ism ad­vi­sory re­mained at “prob­a­ble”, the mid­point of a five-tier sys­tem, and told re­porters in Syd­ney that rad­i­cal Is­lam was the is­sue.

“I need to call it out. Rad­i­cal, vi­o­lent, ex­trem­ist Is­lam that op­poses our very way of life. I am the first to pro­tect re­li­gious free­dom in this coun­try, but that also means I must be the first to call out re­li­gious ex­trem­ism,” he said.

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