Loner’s ide­ol­ogy of death

CBD AT­TACKER CUTS WOMAN’S THROAT HE­ROES TRAP AC­CUSED WITH MILK CRATE PO­LICE FIND TER­ROR MA­TE­RIAL

The Australian - - FRONT PAGE - DEB­O­RAH CORN­WALL SASCHA O’SULLIVAN

A young man car­ry­ing a butcher’s knife and shout­ing “Al­lahu Ak­bar” af­ter al­legedly mur­der­ing one woman and stabbing an­other in Syd­ney’s CBD yes­ter­day had ac­cess to ma­te­ri­als about this year’s Christchur­ch mas­sacre, mass killings in the US and other acts of vi­o­lence.

The bloody ram­page al­legedly car­ried out by 21-year-old Mert Ney, which caused the city cen­tre to be put into lock­down, was only brought to a halt by the heroic ef­forts of by­standers who tack­led the at­tacker and pinned him to the ground be­fore po­lice and other emer­gency ser­vices ar­rived.

NSW Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Mick Fuller said Ney had been found to have in­for­ma­tion on a thumb drive “about other crimes of mass ca­su­al­ties and mass deaths around the world”.

“In­for­ma­tion was found on him that would sug­gest he had some ide­olo­gies re­lated to ter­ror­ism, but he has no links to ter­ror­ism … he has no ap­par­ent links to ter­ror or­gan­i­sa­tions,” Mr Fuller said last night.

“(It was) in­for­ma­tion (on) mass deaths and mass ca­su­al­ties around the world, namely from North Amer­ica and New Zealand. He was known to po­lice but his history was un­re­mark­able.”

Ney is un­der­stood to have been known to men­tal health ser­vices but was not be­ing held in any health fa­cil­i­ties against his will be­fore yes­ter­day’s al­leged at­tacks.

Ney’s fam­ily home in Maray­ong, in Syd­ney’s west, where he lives with his mother, was turned into a crime scene last night as po­lice scoured for clues as to why he car­ried out the at­tack and his back­ground.

The ram­page be­gan when Ney al­legedly lunged at a 41-year-old woman at the Ho­tel CBD in King Street, stabbing her in the back, be­fore jump­ing on the bon­net of a pass­ing Mercedes yelling, “shoot me, f..king shoot me”.

A crime scene was es­tab­lished nearby when po­lice dis­cov­ered the body of an uniden­ti­fied woman in her 20s at 104 Clarence House in Clarence Street, a block away from where Ney was ar­rested.

The woman had had her throat slashed. It has been widely re­ported she may have been a sex worker, as the unit had been used as a brothel. “It ap­pears he (Ney) was there for a busi­ness pur­pose,” Mr Fuller said.

Po­lice say Ney did not ap­pear to have any links with ter­ror­ist groups, and be­lieve he was a “lone ac­tor”. The at­tack was most likely linked to his long history of men­tal health prob­lems.

Scott Mor­ri­son de­scribed the at­tack as “deeply con­cern­ing”.

In Lon­don on a trade mis­sion, NSW Premier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian said: “Our thoughts and prayers are ob­vi­ously with the de­ceased and the vic­tims of this hor­rific crime.

“I’ve been in touch with the com­mis­sioner and the Min­is­ter for Po­lice and ob­vi­ously we’ll be kept up­dated of on­go­ing de­vel­op­ments but I also want to ac­knowl­edge the very brave passers-by who ob­vi­ously tried to in­ter­vene, and say that our thoughts are with all the vic­tims and all those who wit­nessed this hor­rific in­ci­dent.”

Mr Fuller said by­standers who tack­led Ney and dis­armed him, had saved the city from even worse “car­nage”. He de­scribed them as “high­est-or­der he­roes”.

“They put their own phys­i­cal well-be­ing, their own lives on the line to pro­tect their fel­low cit­i­zens,” Mr Fuller said.

Vi­sion of the at­tack shot by wit­nesses showed Ney splat­tered with blood run­ning from two broth­ers and a fire­man. They tripped him up then pinned him to the ground by put­ting a milk crate over his head.

A fourth man, armed with a crow­bar, was so en­raged he stood over Ney, scream­ing at him: “You stabbed a chick, mate.”

Two of the he­roes, broth­ers Paul and Luke O’Shaugh­nessy had rushed from their fourth-floor of­fice. “Every­body was like split­ting,

there’s young fam­i­lies and kids on the street that had to get out of the dan­ger zone,” Paul O’Shaugh­nessy said.

A large con­tin­gent of po­lice ar­rived within min­utes of Ney be­ing sub­dued, their guns drawn.

Ney was im­me­di­ately taken into cus­tody and two blocks of the CBD were closed off as crime scenes.

Mr Fuller said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was “live and on­go­ing”.

“Ney’s long history of men­tal health prob­lems ap­peared to be behind the at­tacks.

“He was known to po­lice but his history was un­re­mark­able com­pared to the grav­ity of the crimes he com­mit­ted,” Mr Fuller said.

The com­mis­sioner said he had his “best in­ves­ti­ga­tors” from the NSW Homi­cide squad lead­ing the in­quiry and they were “metic­u­lously” work­ing through the ev­i­dence.

No mat­ter what the cir­cum­stances, Mr Fuller said, it was a “hor­ren­dous crime and he should pay for that.”

Mr Fuller said po­lice were still try­ing to build a “pic­ture” on Ney, trac­ing back to his move­ments over the past 12 months and the pos­si­ble trig­gers for his al­legedly mur­der­ous at­tack.

“What’s in­flu­enced him to go from an in­di­vid­ual who was liv­ing with his par­ents and seem­ingly get­ting on with his to turn­ing into some­one that’s ca­pa­ble of such an hor­ren­dous crime, that is such an im­por­tant part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Mr Fuller said.

“We need to take an enor­mous amount of time to get that right.”

NSW Po­lice Min­is­ter David El­liott said: “The com­mis­sioner has as­sured me the city is safe … there is no rea­son for any cit­i­zen to con­sider their life is in dan­ger.”

Mr El­liott said the ac­tions of the by­stander he­roes, as well as the city’s po­lice and fire­men had gone “well and truly be­yond the call of any cit­i­zen”.

“This is how Syd­neysiders re­spond,” Mr El­liott said.

“If you want to be­have in this man­ner in this city … just be aware it’s not just po­lice who re­spond.”

PIC­TURES: SEVEN NEWS

Al­leged killer Mert Ney is trapped un­der a milk crate on a Syd­ney street af­ter by­standers caught him and pinned him to the ground; Ney, be­low, wield­ing his knife on top of a car

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