Melbourne Knife Attacker Was Inspired by ISIS, Police say
Aman who stabbed one person to death in a terrorist attack in Melbourne was known to Police and was the brother of a man arrested on terror charges last year, Australian authorities say. Somali-born Hassain Khalif Shire Ali, 30, set fire to a pickup truck laden with gas cylinders in a busy shopping area of the city on Friday, stabbing three people, one fatally, before he was shot dead by Police.
Police said that “there are links” between Ali and ISIS in the form of inspiration, rather than direct contact with the terror group. Counter-terrorism investigators were searching two properties in suburban Melbourne yesterday morning as part of their investigation.
Victoria Police commissioner Graham Ashton said the man’s brother was arrested last year on charges of planning an attack in Melbourne and is currently being held in prison awaiting trial. “He is certainly someone who is known to both us and the federal authorities in relation to counterterrorism and terrorism-related matters,” he told Channel 7’s Sunrise programme.
“He is the brother of an offender or a suspect that we arrested late last year in relation to the preparation of a terrorist event.”
Police were first called to reports of a car on fire, but when they arrived, they were attacked by the man, who was armed with a knife. Videos taken by bystanders show a lengthy confrontation between the Police and the attacker, as bewildered shoppers pass by.
The man lunges repeatedly at the two officers with his knife, while they attempt to incapacitate him with pepper spray and a taser. One member of the public tries to help the Police by hurling a metal shopping trolley at the knifeman as he charges across the street.
Eventually one of the officers draws his pistol and shoots the attacker in the chest, who then drops to the ground.
Video showed a man wielding a knife attempt to stab and slash at two Police officers before he was shot and fell to the ground.