Loner’s ideology of death
CBD ATTACKER CUTS WOMAN’S THROAT HEROES TRAP ACCUSED WITH MILK CRATE POLICE FIND TERROR MATERIAL
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.”
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