Mosque is raided af­ter Oz ‘ter­ror­ism-linked’ shoot­ing by 15-yr-old

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

An Aus­tralian mosque re­port­edly vis­ited by a 15- yearold boy be­fore he shot dead a civil­ian po­lice em­ployee in an “act of ter­ror­ism” has been raided, po­lice said Sun­day.

New South Wales state po­lice said the mosque in the western Syd­ney sub­urb of Par­ra­matta — close to the scene of the dou­ble shoot­ing on Fri­day af­ter­noon — was raided with the con­sent of re­li­gious lead­ers.

“NSW Po­lice yesterday ex­e­cuted a war­rant at a mosque in Par­ra­matta,” po­lice said in a state­ment Sun­day.

“The war­rant was un­der­taken by ar­range­ment with lead­er­ship at the mosque who pro­vided full as­sis­tance to po­lice at all times.”

The 15- year- old gun­man, who killed fi­nance worker Curtis Cheng at close range out­side the po­lice force’s head­quar­ters be­fore he was shot dead by of­fi­cers, vis­ited the mosque be­fore the shoot­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion ( ABC).

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have yet to es­tab­lish why the teenager — who has no crim­i­nal history — tar­geted 58- year- old Cheng, although Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turnbull said Satur­day the at­tack “ap­pears to have been an act of ter­ror­ism.”

Po­lice did not pro­vide fur­ther de­tails about the mosque raid. The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald re­ported that in­ves­ti­ga­tors were search­ing for the boy’s be­long­ings but had left empty- handed.

Se­nior po­lice sources told the ABC the teenager’s sis­ter went miss­ing Thurs­day and boarded a Sin­ga­pore Air­lines flight to Is­tan­bul, adding that she could be bound for Iraq or Syria.

For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop would not com­ment on the re­port of the girl’s trav­els, but said Aus­tralian fed­eral and state gov­ern­ments were in talks with Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties af­ter the boy was iden­ti­fied as be­ing of Iraqi Kur­dish back­ground and born in Iran.

“Yesterday, Prime Min­is­ter Turnbull and (NSW) Premier Mike Baird had a long con­ver­sa­tion with not only ... rel­e­vant agen­cies but also lead­ers in the Mus­lim com­mu­nity,” Bishop told the ABC on Sun­day.

“We’re cer­tainly reach­ing out to the lead­ers of the Mus­lim com­mu­nity but work­ing with the fam­i­lies at a grass­roots lo­cal level.

“It’s the fam­i­lies that will be our front­line of de­fence against rad­i­calised young peo­ple.”

Cheng’s wife Selina, son Al­pha and daugh­ter Zil­via said in a joint state­ment they were “deeply sad­dened and heart­bro­ken” that the “most loved hus­band and fa­ther” was taken from them.

“My fa­ther was a kind, gen­tle, and lov­ing per­son,” said the state­ment re­leased by po­lice on Sun­day.

“He was hu­mourous, gen­er­ous of heart and al­ways put the fam­ily first. He has set a tremen­dous ex­am­ple for us as a fam­ily.”

NSW Po­lice Com­mis­sioner An­drew Sci­p­i­one Satur­day de­scribed Cheng, who had worked for the force for 17 years, as a “gen­tle­man in ev­ery sense” and “ad­mired and re­spected by his col­leagues.”

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