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