TER­ROR ON BOURKE ST

1 DEAD, 2 IN­JURED IN STAB­BING AT­TACK JI­HADI BROTHER OF AC­CUSED TER­ROR­IST ‘CRAZY-EYES’ KILLER DIES FROM GUN­SHOTS

Herald Sun - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID HUR­LEY, ANEEKA SIMONIS AND ALEKS DEVIC Pic­ture: NICK WEEKS WITH JAMES DOWLING AND AN­DREA HAMBLIN david.hur­ley@news.com.au

A KNIFE-wield­ing man who launched a deadly at­tack in Bourke St yes­ter­day is the brother of an ac­cused ter­ror­ist al­leged to have plot­ted a mass mur­der at Fed­er­a­tion Square on New Year’s Eve.

So­mali-born Aus­tralian known as Mo­hamed Khalif and also Has­san Shire, stabbed a man to death and in­jured two other men af­ter his Holden Rodeo ex­ploded in the CBD about 4.10pm.

The man’s wife — who sources de­scribed as hav­ing been “rad­i­calised” — was miss­ing last night.

Heroic po­lice of­fi­cers and by­standers tack­led the man — who was known to the Aus­tralian Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion — as he lunged at them with a knife.

He was shot in the chest and died in hos­pi­tal. Of­fi­cers were un­der­stood to be last night raid­ing the home of the man, who sources said op­er­ated as a lone wolf.

The probe is be­ing led by in­ves­ti­ga­tors from counter ter­ror­ism com­mand and the homi­cide squad.

The Her­ald Sun can re­veal the man’s brother is Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 21, from Wer­ribee, who will face a Supreme Court trial af­ter plead­ing not guilty to pre­par­ing and col­lect­ing doc­u­ments to com­mit a ter­ror at­tack in Fed­er­a­tion Square on De­cem­ber 31, 2017.

The Bourke St at­tacker, aged in his 30s, was also one of 300 “per­sons of in­ter­est” in Vic­to­ria, iden­ti­fied as pos­ing a po­ten­tial se­cu­rity risk and it is un­der­stood he had been watched by po­lice.

Au­thor­i­ties are set to use Vic­to­ria’s pre­ven­ta­tive de­ten­tion laws for the first time in the wake of the at­tack. The laws al­low po­lice to de­tain a sus­pect for at least seven days to pre­vent po­ten­tial at­tacks.

Sources said au­thor­i­ties were likely to use the law to de­tain the sus­pect’s wife and any other as­so­ci­ates deemed to be a se­cu­rity risk.

The An­drews Gov­ern­ment’s counter ter­ror­ism sub­com­mit­tee of Cab­i­net meets at 9am to­day. The Premier has also sus­pended all elec­tion cam­paign­ing un­til at least Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Sev­eral gas cylin­ders were found in the ji­hadi’s ex­ploded car. Bourke St was thrown into chaos by the deadly peak-hour ram­page, as hun­dreds of peo­ple fled the scene out­side the Tar­get Cen­tre.

A brave by­stander who used a traf­fic cone to take on the man said: “He had crazy eyes.”

The two in­jured vic­tims, aged 26 and 58, were be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal af­ter be­ing stabbed in the up­per body. Ter­ri­fy­ing video footage of the in­ci­dent showed a bearded man with a shaved head swing­ing a knife at po­lice be­fore he was shot by one of the of­fi­cers.

“The cops were back­ing off but he kept com­ing at them,” a wit­ness told the Her­ald Sun.

Two by­standers stepped in to sur­round the man, in­clud­ing one who used a shop­ping trol­ley as a weapon.

Ter­ri­fied by­standers yelled “shoot him, shoot him”.

Chris­tian, who was in a nearby book­store, said he heard a loud noise and saw po­lice chas­ing a man.

“I heard a loud bang, I ran out­side and saw ev­ery­one was run­ning the other way,” he said. “I saw a man cov­ered in blood and also saw of­fi­cers chas­ing some­one.”

Heav­ily armed po­lice flooded the area in the min­utes af­ter the at­tack.

The ter­ror pub­lic ser­vice sys­tem sirens sounded in the CBD, the first time they have been used for an in­ci­dent.

The sirens sounded be­fore 6pm, with a pub­lic an­nounce­ment urg­ing peo­ple with in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dent to con­tact po­lice. An emer­gency text mes­sage was sent to peo­ple in the CBD area stat­ing: “Vic­to­ria Po­lice is re­spond­ing to an in­ci­dent at the cor­ner of Bourke and Swanston streets. Avoid the area.”

Po­lice will in­crease pa­trols at ma­jor week­end events, in­clud­ing Stakes Day at Flem­ing­ton to­day and Re­mem­brance Day at the Shrine of Re­mem­brance to­mor­row.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice Chief Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Ash­ton said last night the killer came to Aus­tralia from So­ma­lia in the 1990s and lived in Mel­bourne’s north­west.

Mr Ash­ton con­firmed the man’s fam­ily is well known to state and fed­eral po­lice, in­clud­ing counter ter­ror au­thor­i­ties.

The vic­tim who died re­ceived “sig­nif­i­cant” knife in­juries to the head.

The ter­ror­ist had mi­nor pre­vi­ous charges re­lat­ing to drugs use and theft.

Premier Daniel An­drews said the at­tack was “evil and ter­ri­fy­ing.” He com­mended the po­lice who bravely took down the of­fender.

“They quickly re­sponded in dan­ger­ous cir­cum­stances. They make ev­ery­one proud,” he said.

The in­jured of­fi­cers were treated for mi­nor cuts and scratches sus­tained dur­ing the knife at­tack.

One of the of­fi­cers was also punched in the head by the ter­ror­ist while sit­ting in­side a marked po­lice ve­hi­cle.

Mr An­drews also thanked the by­standers who put their lives on the line to de­fend po­lice and the pub­lic.

“They stepped in with­out a mo­ment’s hes­i­ta­tion,” Mr An­drews said. “Th­ese peo­ple have qual­i­ties that make us proud as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the in­jured.”

Op­po­si­tion leader Matthew Guy said: “I would like to put on record my deep­est sym­pa­thies to those who have been be­reaved and in­jured, and those who have been emo­tion­ally im­pacted by what is an­other tragic event for our city.

“Po­lice and first re­spon­ders went above and be­yond at a time of great dis­tress to many Mel­bur­ni­ans.

“Those first po­lice on the scene have re­acted to a cir­cum­stance which is hor­ri­fy­ing. They have done an in­cred­i­ble job.”

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son said: “I con­demn the act of ter­ror­ism in Mel­bourne that has trag­i­cally taken the life of a fel­low Aus­tralian who has died as a re­sult of this evil and cow­ardly at­tack.”

Yes­ter­day’s at­tack hap­pened close to where James Gar­ga­soulas al­legedly killed six peo­ple and in­jured dozens more in Jan­uary last year.

Po­lice of­fi­cers and civil­ians at­tempt to dis­arm the knife-wield­ing at­tacker on Bourke St. Main pic­ture: CHRIS MACHERAS

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