BOURKE ST BUTCHER
Knife-wielding killer on terror watch list
A KNIFE-WIELDING assailant who was on an ASIO terror watch list was shot at pointblank range after butchering one innocent bystander and critically injuring two more in a bloody rampage in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD yesterday.
It can be revealed that the Somali man, who died from a gunshot wound in hospital last night, was the brother of a man facing trial on terror charges. Last night intelligence bosses rushed Prime Minister Scott Morrison into an emergency security briefing.
Bourke St, still reeling from a 2017 car rampage that killed six, went into lockdown when the man drove a ute full of gas cylinders over the footpath before it exploded, then got out and attacked.
A KNIFE-wielding man who launched a deadly attack in Melbourne’s Bourke St yesterday is the brother of an accused terrorist alleged to have plotted a mass murder at nearby Federation Square on New Year’s Eve. The Somali-born Islamic terrorist known as Mohamed Khalif, and also Hassan Shire, stabbed a man to death yesterday and injured two other men after his Holden Rodeo ex- ploded 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 last night.
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 Saturday Telegraph 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 Melbourne on December 31, 2017.
The Bourke St attacker, aged in his 30s, was 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.
Several gas cylinders were found in the jihadi’s burnt out car.
Bourke St was thrown
into chaos by the deadly peak-hour rampage, as hundreds of people fled the scene outside the Target Centre.
One brave bystander who used a traffic cone to take on the man said that, “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 said.
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 actual incident.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said last night the killer terrorist came to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s and lived in Melbourne’s northwestern suburbs. He had minor previous charges relating to drug use and theft.
Mr Ashton confirmed the man’s family was well known to state and federal police, including counter-terrorism authorities.
The victim who died received “significant” knife injuries to the head, he said.
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.
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,” he said.
“These people have qualities that make us proud as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured.”
The attacker brandishes a knife at police in front of a burning ute on Bourke St (main image) moments before he was shot by an officer (below). Main picture: Chris Macheras
Police officers try to fight off the assailant. One officer draws his gun on the man. The officer fires at point-blank range. his The attacker clutches chest and goes down. The exploding gas cylinders engulf the tray of the ute. Pictures: Stuart Gaut, David Caird, Josh Fagan
Bystanders pin the assailant to the ground, (above) paramedics assist an injured victim of the attack, and (below) heavily armed police arrive.