KNIFE TO THE HEART

Po­lice gun down ‘crazy-eyed’ killer Ji­hadist was brother of ac­cused ter­ror­ist TERRORATTACK IN MELBOUR NECBD

The Courier-Mail - - FRONT PAGE - UP­DATES AT COURIERMAIL.COM.AU

A KNIFE-wield­ing man who launched a deadly at­tack in Mel­bourne’s CBD yes­ter­day is the brother of an ac­cused ter­ror­ist al­leged to have plot­ted a mass mur­der in the city on New Year’s Eve. So­mali-born Is­lamic ter­ror­ist, known as Mo­hamed Khalif and also Has­san Shire, stabbed one man to death and in­jured two oth­ers af­ter his Holden Rodeo ex­ploded in Bourke St about 3.10pm. The man’s wife – who sources de- scribed 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 last night.

Of­fi­cers were un­der­stood to be last night raid­ing the home of the man, who sources said op­er­ated as a lone wolf.

ISIS last night claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack, say­ing Khalif was “one of Is­lamic State fighters”. The Courier-Mail can re­veal the man’s brother is Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 21, from Wer­ribee, who will face trial af­ter plead­ing not guilty to pre­par­ing and col­lect­ing doc­u­ments to com­mit a ter­ror at­tack in Mel­bourne’s Fed­er­a­tion Square on De­cem­ber 31, 2017. Mo­hamed Khalif, aged in his 30s, was one of 300 “per­sons of in­ter­est” in Vic­to­ria. Au­thor­i­ties are set to use Vic­to­ria’s pre­ven­ta­tive de­ten­tion laws for the first time in the wake of the at­tack. They al­low po­lice to de­tain a sus­pect for at least seven days to pre­vent po­ten­tial at­tacks. The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s counter-ter­ror­ism sub­com­mit­tee will meet at 9am to­day. Premier Daniel An­drews has also sus­pended all elec­tion cam­paign­ing un­til at least to­mor­row. Sev­eral gas cylin­ders were found in the wreck­age of the ex­ploded car, ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources. Bourke St was thrown into chaos by the deadly peak- hour ram­page as hun­dreds of peo­ple fled the scene out­side the Tar­get Cen­tre.

Vic­to­rian Po­lice Chief Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Ash­ton said the vic­tim who died had re­ceived “sig­nif­i­cant” knife in­juries to the head.

The two in­jured vic­tims, aged 26 and 58, were be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal af­ter be­ing stabbed in the up­per body.

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

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.

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

Ter­ri­fied on­look­ers yelled “shoot him, shoot him”.

A wit­ness named Chris­tian, who was in a nearby book­store, said: “I heard a loud bang, I ran out­side and saw ev­ery­one was run­ning the other way.

“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.

Mel­bourne’s ter­ror pub­lic

ser­vice sys­tem sirens sounded in the CBD, the first time they have been used in re­sponse to an ac­tual in­ci­dent.

Emer­gency text mes­sages were also sent to peo­ple in the CBD warn­ing of the in­ci­dent.

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

Mr Ash­ton said last night the killer ter­ror­ist came to Aus­tralia from So­ma­lia in the 1990s and lived in Mel­bourne’s north­west­ern sub­urbs.

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

The ter­ror­ist had pre­vi­ously only had mi­nor pre­vi­ous charges re­lat­ing to drug use and theft on his crim­i­nal record. Mr An­drews last night said yes­ter­day’s at­tack was “evil and ter­ri­fy­ing”.

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.

“I praise the brav­ery of the po­lice who were on the scene … and those who self­lessly came to the as­sis­tance of the in­jured and pro­vided com­fort to the dis­tressed.”

Mr Mor­ri­son also com­mended the po­lice who bravely took down the of­fender.

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

Po­lice in­volved were treated for cuts and scratches.

HIGH DRAMA: A Holden ute erupts in Mel­bourne’s Bourke St be­fore Mo­hamed Khalif slashed at passers-by, killing one man and in­jur­ing two oth­ers be­fore at­tack­ing po­lice and be­ing shot (right). He later died. Main pic­ture: Stu­art Gaut

WATCH THE VIDEO AT COURIERMAIL.COM.AU

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.